We've seen the troubling issue of violence against children accused of witchcraft back in the headlines this week, as the UK Government launches an action plan to tackle it.
Charities like ours see every day how the stigma of such accusations, made in one short moment, can devastate a child's life forever.
Such beliefs - that children can be 'possessed' - have essentially been imported to the UK from places where witchcraft is seen as part of everyday life. Horrific and violent exorcisms have been reported across the UK - such as the murder of Kristy Bamu, tortured and killed at a flat in east London in Christmas 2010 after his sister's boyfriend accused him of witchcraft.
And it's an issue that our staff encounter all too frequently.
Let's take the Democratic Republic of Congo - a country two-thirds the size of western Europe spanning the equator in central Africa. Just outside the capital, Kinshasa, our staff are caring for a 13-year-old girl, Pauline, who was accused of being a witch by her own grandmother.
A neighbour speaks of seeing the grandmother trying to bury Pauline alive in the front garden. She was then imprisoned in the house and tortured. If she hadn't been rescued by neighbours who discovered her plight, doctors believe she would have starved to death. She's now going to school and trying to lead a normal life, but physical and emotional scars remain.
Sadly, Pauline is one of many children who are subjected to intolerable suffering as a result of witchcraft accusations.
When beliefs cross the line and result in the abuse of children, we must act. The UK Government, in partnership with others, is doing so here. But what about countries like DR Congo, where scores of children are accused, then abused and driven out of the security of their own homes to live on the streets?
World Vision and others have successfully campaigned for laws to be changed in DR Congo to offer more protection for children. And we've seen the first prosecutions, including a man arrested for trying to hang a boy from a tree who he believed was possessed. The boy survived and gave evidence in court; the perpetrator was convicted and is now in prison.
But challenges persist because those laws need to be consistently enforced and people, including children, need to know that they exist.
We must also stand up to 'rogue pastors' who are known to charge families hefty fees for exorcisms, reinforcing suspicions of witchcraft and plunging families further into poverty.
When beliefs lead to violence, the end result is child abuse - plain and simple. Everyone, from governments, teachers, members of the public and NGOs, must play their part in ensuring children are shielded from it.
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