Training on working with families with spiritual beliefs

Our safeguarding training explores the dynamics of abuse when families believe in black magic and jinn – what forms it can take and the impact on individuals.

In the context of domestic abuse, the course will help participants to:

  • Understand beliefs in jinn, black magic and the power of marabouts
  •  Recognise the warning signs
  • Explore how these beliefs impact behaviour
  • Understand how to have conversations with victims and perpetrators
  • Build confidence to safeguard victims of abuse and be aware of the support available 

All of our training sessions hear from people with lived experience.

Length: 90 mins

Our training can be delivered in person or online. Please contact us to book a session for your team.



Spiritual abuse is a form of abuse characterised by a systematic pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour in a religious, spiritual, faith or belief context. Spiritual abuse is not limited to a certain religion or denomination and can take place in non-religious settings. 

It is important to understand that spiritual and religious practices are not in themselves abusive, however, spiritual abuse takes place when perpetrators justify their actions under the guise of spirituality / religion. 

Examples of spiritual abuse may include:

Misusing scripture to gain power and control, requiring unquestioned obedience, coercive behaviour and threats of spiritual/religious consequences.

As with all abuse, spiritual abuse can be emotional, physical, sexual and/or financial.

Any person of any belief system is capable of perpetrating spiritual abuse, just as anyone can be the victim of spiritual abuse.


Support services: 

​Support is available for anyone experiencing / at risk of spiritual abuse, as well as those who are worried for someone they know. 

AFRUCA – referrals only 0207 704 2261

AFRUCA Safeguarding Children


The Witchcraft and Human Rights information network

WHRIN – The Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network


31:8 – 0207 735 8941

Thirtyone:eight home page (– 


NSPCC – 0808 800 5000  

What You Need to Know About Child Trafficking | NSPCC


National FGM Centre (CALF) – for training and advice 

Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief – National FGM Centre


LWA- Living Without Abuse- 0808 80 200 28 

Religious and Spiritual Abuse | : LWA


Replenished – 07746 153703 

Home – Replenished


Nour- DV support (contact through form on website) 



Safe Spaces- survivors of church-related abuse (First Light)- 0300 303 1056

Home – Safe Spaces England and Wales


Support Line- 01708 765200

SupportLine – Confidential Emotional Support for Children, Young Adults and Adults


Latin American Women’s Aid- 020 727 50321

LAWA – Latin American Women’s Aid (


Latin American Women’s Rights Service- 0808 145 4909

LAWRS – Latin American Women’s Rights Service


The Traveller Movement- 0754 1637 795 

Home | The Traveller Movement


Sistah Space –  020 7846 8350

Sistah Space


Project Salama- 01635 953588


Jewish Women’s Aid- 0808 801 0500

Jewish Women’s Aid (


Muslim Women’s Network- 0800 999 5786

Muslim Women Network (


Conversation therapy:


GALOP- 0800 130 3335 helpline 

Helplines – Galop the LGBT+ anti-abuse charity – Galop


LGBT Foundation- 0345 3 30 30 30

LGBT Foundation – Home


House of Rainbow- +447521130179

House of Rainbow


Naz and Matt Foundation-

Support – Naz and Matt Foundation 


Mind Out- 01273 234 839

MindOut | Mental Health Charity for LGBTQ community


Hidayah –

Hidayah LGBT • Gender, Sexuality and Islam


Support U- 0118 321 9111

Your LGBT+ Resource for the Thames Valley – Support U


Switchboard LGBT+- 0800 0119 100

Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline


Traveller Pride- CONTACT | LGBT Traveller Pride 

LGBT Traveller Pride – Gypsy, Roma Traveller support


Useful resources: 


International Network Against Witchcraft Accusation and Associated Harmful Practices (


What is Child Abuse Linked to Faith & Belief? – YouTube


Child witchcraft claims increasing as ‘hidden crime’ is investigated | Crime | The Guardian


Child abuse linked to faith or belief: National Action Plan – GOV.UK (


BBC Three – Branded a Witch


Protecting Children from Faith-Based Abuse through Accusations of Witchcraft and Spirit Possession: Understanding Contexts and Informing Practice | The British Journal of Social Work | Oxford Academic (


Contextualising Female Jinn Possession in Sexual Trauma (


Working safely with spiritual abuse (


The Jinn, Women Vulnerabilities and the Act of Healings in The Hausa Communities Of 21st Century | IOSR Journals –


GoodTherapy | Shame and Silence: Recognizing Spiritual Abuse 


Religious trauma and moral injury from LGBTQA+ conversion practices – ScienceDirect


Working With LGBTQI+ Clients Who Have Experienced Religious and Spiritual Abuse Using a Trauma-Informed Approach (


Galop on X: “What is the connection between a child’s LGBT+ identity, and abuse linked to faith or belief? The first in a series of videos from Galop and Dr @NaomiRichman explores LGBT+ abuse in a faith or religious context

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