Witchcraft linked abuse of children cases on the rise

Posted by Malcolm Johnson on

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The BBC reports that witchcraft linked case of the abuse of children are increasing.

27 cases have been reported in the last year to the Metropolitan Police, with 24 cases in 20013, 19 in 2012 and nine in 2011. The death of Victoria Climbie in 2000 is thought to have had elements of witchcraft.

One expert, Richard Hoskings, has said that the cases mainly involved communities from Asia, as well as west and central Africa. He makes the point that children are being used as scapegoats.

The ritual abuse of children and adults receives a great deal of press attention from time to time, but a number of commentators have dismissed these allegations as fictitious or “Satanic panic”.

Sadly such cases are nothing new in this country, and they are not confined to African or Asian communities. On the 9th March 2011, a number of Defendants were convicted of the abuse of children in the small west Wales town of Kidwelly. One of the abusers styled himself as the high priest of an occult group that operated from a series of homes. He received 22 years imprisonment for 35 counts of the most serious abuse.

The common element in most of these cases is the motivation of adults to abuse children or force them into prostitution for financial gain. The use of “ritual” or “magic” is simply another tool to facilitate such abuse, and for very young minds it can be extremely effective. However Mr Hoskings is pointing to something else, a belief system that is similar to those seen in this country and Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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About the Author

Malcolm is an Senior Associate in our London office, with nearly twenty years' experience.

Malcolm Johnson
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