Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Witchcraft branding and the abuse of African children in the UK: causes, effects and professional intervention

Tedam, P. (2014) Witchcraft branding and the abuse of African children in the UK: causes, effects and professional intervention. Early Child Development and Care. 184(9-10), pp. 1403-1414. 0300-4430.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: The branding of children as ‘witches’, capable of harming others is a widespread practice in some countries in Africa and across the world. There is evidence of this within specific communities and faith groups; however, the extent to which this phenomenon occurs in England is unclear as is the response by childcare professionals, statutory agencies and Voluntary Organisations. Between 2000 and 2010, at least six children lost their lives in different parts of the UK following periods of abuse, neglect and trauma linked to what is now known as abuse arising from being labelled ‘witches’. Each of these children, died because their parent or carer believed that they were responsible for ill luck, ill fortune and/or ill health that had befallen them and/or members of their families.Drawing upon a children's rights framework, this paper aims to provide a critical examination of child abuse that is caused by a belief that children can and are ‘witches’ or possess some evil spirits, making them capable of causing harm and discord within a family. Existing literature will be interrogated to provide some background and a historical context to this alarming and abusive practice.
Additional Information: A pre-publication version of this article was made available electronically by the publisher on 14 April 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords: Child witches, faith-based abuse, African families, cultural competence
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF1562 Witchcraft
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV697 Protection, assistance and relief > HV701 Children
Creators: Tedam, Prospera
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Northamptonshire and East Midlands: Health
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Health & Society > Social Work
Faculties > Faculty of Health & Society > Applied Social Studies & Sociology
Date: 2014
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 1403-1414
Journal or Publication Title: Early Child Development and Care
Volume: 184
Number: 9-10
Language: English
ISSN: 0300-4430
Status: Published / Disseminated

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