Cultural Awareness in Safeguarding


This comprehensive course will help you to understand the safeguarding issues around 'honour-based' violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and abuse related to beliefs in witchcraft. It also provides important advice and guidance for professionals.


Duration: 06 hours

This course contains the following modules:

Module name Type Duration
‘Honour-based’ Crimes - Understanding the Community Online 00:30:00
HBC - What is Forced Marriage and ‘Honour-based’ Violence Online 00:30:00
HBC - The Victims and Perpetrators Online 00:30:00
HBC - Barriers to Change Online 00:30:00
HBC - Challenges for the Professional Online 00:30:00
FGM - The Hard Facts Online 00:30:00
FGM - The Beliefs behind FGM Online 00:30:00
FGM - The Impact of FGM Online 00:30:00
Challenges for the professional Online 00:30:00
The Belief and the Abuse Online 00:30:00
Abuse Related to Beliefs in Witchcraft - Risk Factors Online 00:30:00
Challenges for the Professional Online 00:30:00


The course aims to help anyone who works with children or has regular contact with children to recognise and respond to situations where abuse linked to 'honour-based' violence and forced marriage; female genital mutilation; and beliefs in 'witchcraft' or 'spirit possession' has occurred or may occur.

For example, those who work in schools, healthcare, social care, faith organisations, community groups or the police.


In the 'Honour-based' crime and Forced Marriage course you will:

  • Understand what is meant by ‘honour’
  • Understand what it means to communities
  • Understand where it comes from
  • Know how big the problem is
  • Know what is forced marriage, ‘honour-based’ violence and ‘honour’ killings
  • Know how big a problem it is in the UK
  • Know who is most at risk
  • Understand what the family’s motives are
  • Know what the aggravating factors are
  • Understand what the impact on the victim is
  • Learn about the barriers to change
  • Know the law in relation to ‘honour-based’ crimes
  • Learn about the indicators
  • Know when victims are most at risk

In the Female Genital Mutilation course you will:

  • Know what FGM is and when and where is it performed
  • Know the facts and figures
  • Understand the laws that help to protect women and girls from FGM
  • Understand the socio-cultural context, including the perception of FGM as a religious obligation
  • Know what the impact of FGM is
  • Understand the attitudes towards FGM
  • Know how to identify an FGM victim or potential victim
  • Know how to help prevent and ultimately eliminate the practice
  • Know the principles to follow when FGM is suspected or has been performed
  • Know the roles of different professionals

In the Abuse Related to a Belief in Witchcraft course you will:

  • Know what witchcraft is and the language used by perpetrators to refer to it
  • Know what the beliefs are and how widespread they are in the UK
  • Know which communities or groups may believe in witchcraft
  • Know what kind of abuses can occur in relation to witchcraft
  • Learn about who the perpetrators might be
  • Understand what the future holds for a victim
  • Learn how to help prevent the next Victoria Climbié
  • Learn about the common features and warning signs of witchcraft abuse
  • Learn about the indicators of witchcraft abuse
  • Learn about the issues around migration
  • Learn about the common features about the abuser
  • Know what the key policies and legislation are in relation to abuse linked to witchcraft
  • Know the importance of understanding the limitations of your role
  • Understand the importance of addressing any misguided attitudes that you may have
  • Understand the importance of community led approaches to preventing witchcraft abuse
  • Learn what to do if you suspect a child is at risk of witchcraft abuse or is experiencing abu


Here are a few topics covered in the five Honour-based' Violence and Forced Marriage modules:

Banaz Mahmod | Not a minor crime | Sexual ‘honour’ | What is ‘honour’? | Losing ‘honour’? | Immoral acts? | The origins of ‘honour’ | Where do ideas of ‘honour’ come from? | So what’s the problem? | Current attitudes | Self-perpetuating phenomenon | The right to marry | What is forced marriage? | Reported honour killings | Is forced marriage illegal? | Is forced marriage a gender issue? | Forced marriage and arranged marriage | Deja’s story | What is ‘honour-crime’? | ‘Honour-based’ violence and domestic abuse | Different motivations | Are things getting better? | A real and serious problem | The victim’s mindset | The victims | Who is most at risk? | What is a parent’s motivation? | Religion | Familial motives for forced marriage | Aggravating factors | Abuses related to forced marriage | Abuses after forced marriage | Rape | Abandonment | The victim’s predicament | The psychological impact on the victim | The future for victims and their children | The future for the victim’s children | Why don’t they run away? | After running away | Persistent attitudes | Communities blocking change | Deterrents to women fleeing abuse | Escape deterrents | Difficulty getting religious divorces | Government failures | What is the law? | The law and forced marriage | New legislation and penalties | What should professionals look out for? | Less common warning signs | The ‘one chance’ rule | Case study: Medya at school | Case study: Medya and Social services | Case study: on reflection

Here are a few topics covered in the four Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) modules:

What happens? | UK numbers | What is FGM? | The procedure | What happens to victims? | FGM across the globe | FGM in the UK | Its origins | What laws are there to protect women? | Voices from the FGM community | The beliefs behind FGM | The reasons | Controlling women | FGM and religion | Hygiene, femininity and aesthetics | Social pressures and expectations | Cultural change in the UK | Clerics and communities reject FGM | A personal story | Range of complications | Severe to fatal consequences | Short and long term consequences | Sex, pregnancy and childbirth | Impact on the individual | Psychological impact | The UK’s approach to FGM | Your response to FGM | Key message for professionals | The four Ps | Key message for professionals | Critical roles | At school: Indicators of risk | At school: indicators FGM has taken place | Gathering information in a heath care setting | What should I say? | How should I respond? | Pregnancy and childbirth | Counselling | The role of the Police | The role of Social Care

Here are a few topics covered in the three Abuse Related to a Belief in Witchcraft modules:

Killed for being ‘possessed’ | Witchcraft and spirit possession | Witchcraft terms | Understanding the concepts | Beliefs in witchcraft | How the victim is perceived | Who believes n witchcraft? | Does witchcraft exist in Africa? | The need to believe | Religious culture | When beliefs become abuse | Forms of abuse | Who are the perpetrators? | Role of places of worship | The future, after intervention | Help prevent the next Victoria Climbié | Victoria’s basic profile | Is gender an indicator? | Is age an indicator? | Is abuse mainly found in London? | Characteristics, behaviours or disabilities | Common features about the family | Change for the worse in a family’s situation | Struggling to adapt to migration | First signs | Victoria’s carers | “Critical faculties suspended” | Common features about the type of abuse | The language and methods of the perpetrators | Physical, emotional or psychological, neglect and sexual abuse | The cause | Common features about the abuser | Important learning point | Common features about ease of movement | Summary of warning signs | Key policy and legislation | Your responsibility | Reflect on your attitudes | Who is on the front line? | Who should you contact? | What should happen? | Achieving Best Evidence | Holistic assessments | Prevention | The role of non-governmental organisations

Enrolment details

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Course flyer

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This course has been independently certified as conforming to universally accepted Continuous Professional Development (CPD) guidelines.