On Tuesday 14 August 2012, the Government launched its National Action Plan to tackle child abuse linked to faith or belief, informed by a Working Group comprising statutory, faith and community organisations, and individuals with specialist knowledge and expertise. Churches Together in England through Minority Ethnic Christian Affairs is one of a number of partners that as a Working Group contributed to the Action Plan which focuses on four themes; engaging communities, empowering practitioners, supporting victims and witnesses, and communicating messages. The tragic death of Kristy Bamu in 2010, from ritual abuse, is a timely reminder of what can happen and why it is urgent that together we address child abuse linked to faith or belief.
Included in the plan is a baseline of existing information and resources, and a cohesive approach to take forward proposed solutions from the first phase of consultation with working group members, and more recent contributions from a wider group of interested parties. In welcoming the Action Plan Bishop Dr Joe Aldred said: ‘Every child has a right to grow up supported by adults to reach their God-given potential. No child deserves to have that life blighted by abuse, whatever the excuse. Whilst in the overwhelming majority of cases children prosper in faith settings, sadly at times their safety is put in jeopardy precisely because this can be used as cover for abuse and too many are unaware of the harm that can be, and sometimes is, perpetrated under the cloak of faith or belief. This is why we must raise awareness across society of child abuse so the well-being of all children is assured.’
You are encouraged to read, help disseminate and consider how you can help to implement the National Action Plan.
Department for Education Press Notice on the action plan:
Action Plan and the letter: