Most people, if they were really honest – they would rather we were all dead. Because if we were dead:

You could pretend it never happened.

You wouldn’t have to face us or hear of our experiences and our pain.

You wouldn’t have to struggle to believe something you know could be true, but don’t really want to accept as a reality.

You wouldn’t need to challenge it.

You could distance yourself emotionally by never knowing or accepting us as people, like you.

You could mourn our tragic deaths, move on and then forget we ever existed.

You wouldn’t need to deal with the effects on yourself of hearing about our abuses.

You wouldn’t have to accept responsibility for your part in maintaining the systems that permit ritualised abuse.

If we were all dead you could all stop struggling with your own fears, disbelief, denial and the effects of our pain on you. You could perhaps find some of our remains and dig a large pit to fill with lime. You could swiftly throw our broken bodies in the pit and cover us with earth. Then you would be free to release your emotions. You could cry for us, especially for those of us who were children. You could get angry and rage at the terrible fate that was ours. You could be quietly relieved that it was not your fate. You could shout for vengeance and retribution and swear that this kind of horror will never be permitted to happen again. Not ever!

You could mourn our passing… then you could forget and get on with your lives. If we were all dead you would be able to sleep more comfortably each night in your beds. Will we apologise for making life difficult for you by surviving? I think not…

Only two sets of people know the truth about ritual abuse; the survivors of the abuse and the abusers. Only one set of people will try and tell you. Only one set of people will tell you the truth. You need to listen. If we were all dead the abusers would still be here amongst you and who would be their next victims? Maybe you! Maybe your children!

We are survivors. We are the living evidence of the existence of this type of abuse. Deny the abuse exists and you deny us the reality of our experiences. We would like to deny it all too. We would like to switch off the memories. We would like to sleep at night without nightmares. We would like to feel as safe as you do while walking down the street. We would like to have family we could turn to and people to trust.

Some of us are badly damaged. Some of us are mentally scarred. Some of us will never heal. But, we have survived our abuse. We have survived alone. We have survived without you. We will continue to survive, with your help, or without it. We are not dead… so you can’t bury us yet, even though it might be easier for you if you could.

How can we get justice when there are no laws that name it?
How can we exist when the world says we don’t?
How can we talk if no one will listen?

We are dismissed as mad because of our suffering. You would be too. We are accused of making it up. Why would we do this only to be dismissed as mad? We are told we have false memories given us by therapists yet most of us have never gone near a therapist or anyone else to try and talk. It would be pointless.

You are playing into the hands of the abusers by silencing us, just as they do. They want you not to listen or believe us. Talking is nearly impossible for survivors like us. So why do we even bother trying?

The way I see it, you only have two choices; either you stand beside us and help us survive and fight back against them, help us make them stop; or you stand against us and if you do that, you are, in my eyes, one of them – the abusers. There are no fence sitters in this war. There are only the abusers and their allies, and the survivors and theirs.

Which are you?