Religious Myths Contributing to Violence Against Children

Violence against children manifests in different forms, the most brutal being violation by a guardian/parent.

Nigeria recently witnessed the rescue of a 9-year-old child; Korede Taiwo, who was chained by his father for one month on allegation of witchcraft. The boy was rescued by security officers following a tip-off by neighbors. During police interrogation after the arrest of the boy’s father Mr. Francis Taiwo, who is also a pastor, he confessed that his boy steals food from the neighbors’ and his house and runs away and it was because of such ‘evil actions’ that he believed the child was ‘possessed by evil spirits’. The solution in his view was to chain the child.

The story of Korede Taiwo is just one of the many violations of children on allegations of witchcraft in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. Witchcraft is associated with a lot of cultural/religious myths that must be dispelled to protect children from abuse.

The UN declaration on the rights of children has sought to protect children from various forms of abuse but it is not strange to hear that children are still abused on a daily basis especially in war-torn and developing countries. The reasons for these abuses are because of poverty and illiteracy levels, which are vital factors in the degradation of a society.

It is sad that the world claims to put child rights’ protection at the fore front yet children like Korede Taiwo cannot be protected from the society’s cruelest. Food as a basic need forced Korede Taiwo to seek other avenues to quench his hunger.

The world must protect the children from exploitation and abuse. Fighting poverty and illiteracy is the only sure way to ending violence against children.

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