The only way for nations to move forward and progress is to address and apologize for past wrongs.
The organization Witches of Scotland has dedicated itself to that very mission and is fighting for Scotland to recognize their past persecution of women accused of witchcraft.
Zoe Venditozzi and Madison Mitchel launched Witches of Scotland on International Woman’s Day 2020, and uncovered much of the overlooked history of witchcraft.
In 1563, the Witchcraft Act was declared law in Scotland. Being accused of witchcraft was considered a capital crime, and, if convicted, supposed witches were “strangled to death and then burned at the stake.”
A great majority, eighty-three percent, of these convicted witches were women. And, once accused, these women were tortured until they confessed. In Scotland, the primary torture tactic was sleep deprivation.
“We know now, of course, that sleep deprivation makes people confused and causes them to hallucinate. So, it is perhaps not surprising that it was a good method of getting ‘confessions’ from people accused of witchcraft,” the organization’s website says.
Other methods of torture included “pricking” skin with needles, crushing the body, and nail pulling. Throughout this whole terrible process, the accused women were “not even able to be witnesses in their own right at trial.”
Finally, in 1736, the execution of “witches” was left behind, and the law was altered.
But, it was too late. Nearly four thousand people were accused in Scotland during this time, and, since then, “there has been no apology, no pardon, and no memorial to those who lost their lives in Scotland.”