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CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Child Abuse linked to a belief in Witchcraft and Spirit Possession Detective Sergeant Vicky Washington Partnership Team.

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Presentation on theme: "CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Child Abuse linked to a belief in Witchcraft and Spirit Possession Detective Sergeant Vicky Washington Partnership Team."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Child Abuse linked to a belief in Witchcraft and Spirit Possession Detective Sergeant Vicky Washington Partnership Team

2 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND 2000 Anna/Victoria Climbié You could beat her and she would not cry……she could take the beatings and the pain like anything. Victorias Carer

3 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND 2001 Adam/Ikpo Mwosa The headless, limbless body of a boy aged between five and six was found floating in the river Thames

4 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND 2008 Khyra Ishaq Khyra dropped down as she walked after a spirit got into her body, it was evil and it was trying to control her body because Khyra had accepted it as a friend Sibling

5 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND CASE STUDY Child B 2003 "She pulled out a little knife and she did little marks on me. I was bleeding. The three of them surrounded me and one kicked me, one slapped me and one pushed me. I asked myself, What have I done?"

6 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Bruises Scarring Stab Wound All Historical? 43 Injuries

7 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Significant Findings Case Study - Child B Diary entry 16 Nov 2003 in Lingala: – At church a prophecy was given that (Child B) has witchcraft. Expert witness in 'witchcraft' provides evidence Churches that Child B attended were identified but no evidence to prosecute. DNA showed that none of defendants were the mother although 3 were maternal relations.

8 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Outcomes Case Study - Child B June 2005 – Full trial and guilty verdicts for 3 defendants of Child Cruelty. Maximum sentence, 10 yrs, imposed for 2 main defendants. National Guidelines published in consultation with Project Violet. Partnership Team formed 1 st Paediatrician explained that: the examination room was poorly lit with no natural light.

9 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Shared Experiences: Separated Isolated Starved Scapegoated Harmed Traumatised

10 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Project Violet Children abused through a belief in spirit possession

11 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND AIMS Develop prevention opportunities for children abused through a belief in spirit possession. Raise awareness within practicing communities and statutory agencies. Develop intelligence opportunities

12 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Project Violet Board Made up of specialist child abuse detectives, Crown Prosecution Service, community members, AFRUCA, The Churches Child Protection Advisory Serivce, London Safeguarding Board and the Victoria Climbie Foundation Will sit on a quarterly basis

13 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Five Strand Framework Jointly agreed 'Terms of Reference & action plan Clear engagement and activity strategies – faith communities Clear engagement and activity strategies – wider community groups Development of new practitioner guidance Ensure Project Violet partnership is linked into wider regional debates

14 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Challenges… Hidden Crime – Difficult to Measure Identification of cases – Use of Flags Advice, Guidance & Support for cases CP Concerns at Places of Worship Work in partnership (CCPAS, LSCBs, NGO, etc) Training and Awareness Raising National & International liaison

15 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Remember… This is not about persecuting people's beliefs, but about safeguarding children Contact Project Violet Telephone

16 CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Thank you for listening… Any questions?


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