National plan launched to stop faith-based child abuse

The Independent

PAUL GALLAGHER Sunday 29 March 2015

Teachers, social workers and other front-line staff should be trained how to spot faith-based child abuse, according to experts concerned at the rising number of children being abused by parents with skewed religious views.

Two leading female academics in the field have joined forces with the Victoria Climbié Foundation – named after the eight-year-old Ivorian girl tortured and murdered by her guardians in 2000 – in calling for a national framework to help reduce the incidence of such cases, which are on the rise and harder to detect than other forms of abuse.

According to the Education Select Committee, an increasing number of children in the UK are being harmed in the belief that it “will get the devil out of them”.

Dr Lisa Oakley and Dr Kathryn Kinmond, from Manchester Metropolitan University, were approached by a government working group that is devising a national action plan to tackle child abuse linked to faith and belief. The pair also met with the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service and safeguarding specialists Chanon Consulting as they began what will be a two-year project to identify the principal characteristics of faith-based abuse.

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