Abuse Related to a Belief in Witchcraft


The course will help you identify children at risk of witchcraft abuse – which will, in turn, help you to protect them from their abusers.


The course aims to help anyone who works with children or has regular contact with children to recognise and respond to situations where abuse linked to beliefs in 'witchcraft' or 'spirit possession' has occurred or may occur.

For example, those who work in schools, healthcare, social care, faith organisations, community groups or the police.

About this course

The course will increase your understanding of abuse relating to beliefs in witchcraft. It will also help to reduce any anxiety you may have about carrying out your safeguarding responsibilities when working with or dealing with people who have different belief systems.

The course is split into three modules:

  • The Belief and Abuse
  • Risk Factors
  • Challenges for the Professional

This course contains additional resource materials, useful links and three refresher guides.


This course will enable you to:

  • Know what witchcraft is and the language used by perpetrators to refer to it
  • Know what the beliefs are and how widespread they are in the UK
  • Know which communities or groups may believe in witchcraft
  • Know what kind of abuses can occur in relation to witchcraft
  • Learn about who the perpetrators might be
  • Understand what the future holds for a victim
  • Learn how to help prevent the next Victoria Climbié
  • Learn about the common features and warning signs of witchcraft abuse
  • Learn about the indicators of witchcraft abuse
  • Learn about the issues around migration
  • Learn about the common features about the abuser
  • Know what the key policies and legislation are in relation to abuse linked to witchcraft
  • Know the importance of understanding the limitations of your role
  • Understand the importance of addressing any misguided attitudes that you may have
  • Understand the importance of community led approaches to preventing witchcraft abuse
  • Learn what to do if you suspect a child is at risk of witchcraft abuse or is experiencing abuse


Here are some of the topics covered in all three modules:

Killed for being ‘possessed’  |  Witchcraft and spirit possession  |  Witchcraft terms   |  Understanding the concepts   |  Beliefs in witchcraft   |  How the victim is perceived   |  Who believes n witchcraft?   |  Does witchcraft exist in Africa?   |  The need to believe   |  Religious culture   |  When beliefs become abuse   |  Forms of abuse   |  Who are the perpetrators?  |  Role of places of worship   |  The future, after intervention  |  Help prevent the next Victoria Climbié   |  Victoria’s basic profile   |  Is gender an indicator?  |  Is age an indicator?  |  Is abuse mainly found in London?   |  Characteristics, behaviours or disabilities   |  Common features about the family   |  Change for the worse in a family’s situation   |  Struggling to adapt to migration   |  First signs   |  Victoria’s carers   |  “Critical faculties suspended”   |  Common features about the type of abuse   |  The language and methods of the perpetrators   |  Physical, emotional or psychological, neglect and sexual abuse   |  The cause   |  Common features about the abuser  |  Important learning point   |  Common features about ease of movement   |  Summary of warning signs   |  Key policy and legislation   |  Your responsibility   |  Reflect on your attitudes   |  Who is on the front line?   |  Who should you contact?   |  What should happen?  |  Achieving Best Evidence   |  Holistic assessments   |  Prevention   |  The role of non-governmental organisations


Enter full description of the course.


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