• Religious groups as part of community awareness raising.
• ‘Asian/Muslim’ perpetrators and ‘Asian/Muslim’ victims.
• Emergence of a range of ‘religious’ or ‘faith-based’ responses to CSE.
• The slide from Multiculturalism to Multifaithism – religion as the primary
signifier of difference.
• Transfer the learning - historical debates about religious leaders as
gatekeepers / the policing of sex and sexuality.
• Two roundtable events - November 2014 / February 2015
• Same twenty participants at both sessions
• Participants – from the voluntary sector providing services
for children, young people and women
• A safe space to:
• Share experiences and thoughts re: possibilities or
limitations of engaging religious organisations
• Problem solve
• Develop framework for good practice
Aim and Method
• Extending social responsibility for tackling CSE
• They are part of the landscape of local areas
• They have authority?
• Access to potential perpetrators
• Challenge the abusive practices being sanctioned within those
Why did they engage?
• Strong objection to the slide from multiculturalism to multifaithism
– to the privileging of religious identity and the strengthening of
• Religious leaders as power brokers – not passive, not
• Religion does more harm than good – it’s simply not useful to
engage religion on issues to do with sex/sexuality
• ‘Triaging’ – what is the best way to utilise limited resources?
Why did they steer clear?
• Role of community and religious ‘leaders’ in tracing women
• Religious and cultural arguments used as justifications for
• Religious group responses as ‘tokenistic’
• Growth of academies, especially those of a religious ethos,
restrict or reduce spaces for preventative work
Alignment of concerns
• Religion or culture should not override children’s rights
• Children’s rights and human rights need to be at the forefront of
• Women’s groups and children’s charities need to be at the
forefront of partnerships and responses
• Religious groups have diverse ‘interests’
• An ethical evaluation required that distinguishes between a
range of religious interventions
Analysing the values base ?
Pre-occupied with honour/shame of the ‘community’
Focus on punitive actions
Accountability Impunity – excusing the behaviour of perpetrators
Participatory Being saved by guardians of the faith or community
Rights based frameworks:
Children have rights
Women have rights
Human rights framework
Every Child Matters framework
Traditional action – gains legitimacy from traditional
authority, reliant on the reproduction of memories,
tradition and ritual.
Framework of ‘displaced agency’
Egalitarian – based on principles of equality Discriminatory – in practice and/or ideological frame
that is premised on inequality
Authoritarian / absolutist worldview
Non-judgemental Moralistic / judgemental