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 Policefail to identify hundreds of children abused for being possessed

“Hundreds ofchildren each year are beaten, starved, and reviled by their own families afterbeing branded a witch or as possessed by evil spirits; but only a fraction ofthe cases are identified. Campaigners believe up to 400 youngsters sufferviolent abuse annually, often after unscrupulous faith leaders accuse the childin order to charge parents for a bogus exorcism. A number ofhorrifying cases of faith-based abuse have come into the public eye in Britain,including the deaths of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in 2000 and 15-year-oldKristy Bamu in 2010, who were both tortured and killed by members of their ownfamilies amid claims of witchcraft. Detective Inspector Allen Davis, fromScotland Yard’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse command, saidmore children will die because such beliefs are so deeply held. National PoliceChiefs Council lead for child protection Chief Constable Simon Bailey saidpolice are not always the first to be alerted to signs of abuse. ‘Protectingchildren from all forms of cruelty and neglect is hugely important,’ he said. ‘Incases involving witchcraft, the abuse is often hidden and police forces are notalways the first service to be made aware of the threat.’” (Care Appointments, The Press Association, 11/15/16) [IT 8.2]

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