VIDEO CONTENT BELOW.
The events in my book ‘The Lost Children’ are a work of fiction. However, the subject matter is not. It is a sad fact of life that physical and mental abuse as a result of faith and belief is an everyday occurrence across the globe and affects tens of thousands of children. I realise that in writing this story it will, unfortunately, offend some people. That was never my intention. I simply wanted to tell a story that highlights what is going on and I chose to do it through a crime novel because, whatever your particular thoughts and beliefs, to me, the abuse of any child is a crime however it is wrapped up. If people choose to be offended by the truth well, that will not be the first time in history. It will not be the last.
I’ve had one or two people contact me to complain that I have no right to disparage other people’s faith and beliefs. I wasn’t disparaging. I was merely pointing out that this shit needs to stop and, quite frankly, fuck any belief system that endorses this kind of depravity. I’m not a religious man and proud of it. I have my own beliefs and they basically start from the premise of ‘be good to each other’. I have no truck with any religion that harms children. End of. I have no truck with any government or individual that condone or profits from it.
In 2001, the torso of a young boy, given the name Adam by the police, was found floating in the River Thames in London, England. It took the investigating team into some extremely dark places and opened up a world to which, at the time, they were completely unaware of and unprepared for. It is also a sad fact of life that worldwide, the Diplomatic process is abused regularly and in different ways and that all governments collude. That will never stop. It cannot.
During my research for the story I am not ashamed to confess that more than once I found myself on the edge of tears and it distressed me greatly to think that since Adam’s discovery, it has become necessary for the police, the government and local authorities to set up branches to deal with the increase in such cases.
An article published by the Telegraph on the 24th of November 2017 ran the headline, ‘Belief in witchcraft and demonic possession linked to 1,500 child abuse cases’. You can read it here if you wish, but if you want the highlights, it went on to state, ‘Figures released by the Department for Education show that 1,460 cases in England included concerns about abuse which was “linked to faith and belief” during the year to March 2017.’
Further – ‘Charities said the figure was likely to be an underestimate because local authorities did not have enough awareness to spot the likely signs of abuse.’
Again, same article in the Telegraph – ‘A Government spokesman said: “Children must be kept safe, and no belief system can justify the abuse of a child.”
“The Department for Education is investing up to £1.5 million to tackle child abuse and support charities such as Barnardo’s in their work to tackle abuse linked to faith or belief.”
“Those responsible for child abuse linked to faith or belief would be subject to prosecution. Our statutory guidance is crystal clear that anyone who has concerns about a child’s welfare should report this to children’s social care or the police.”
Thankfully, there have been no other cases of the same magnitude as Adam’s reported in the UK but that is not to say it hasn’t happened again. It may have. It could still.
When I sat down to write this story, I knew it would likely ruffle feathers, but if my story raises awareness of this abuse in just, one parent, one educator, one decision maker, then it has done a better job than I could have ever asked it to.
And, for those of you who have told me that I’ve made it all up, it doesn’t happen and I’m picking on Africans, spend a little while educating yourself.