There are a wide range of beliefs and myths regarding ritualised abuse and the survivors of it. If people could only keep a more open mind rather than simply believing what they read in the press or have heard on the grapevine, we might eventually arrive at the more factual information. If we close our minds and dismiss accounts of survivors of anything, we will never know the truth. Even if it turns out that only one person in the world has experienced ritual abuse, in any of its forms, we need to know about it.

Facts and Myths

Ritual abuse doesn’t happen. The same worldwide disbelief happened when adult survivors of child sexual abuse first spoke out. Many people denied its existence. Survivors have no investment in lying, only abusers do. Many people do not believe survivors, yet more and more come forward and tell of their experiences. There are documented cases from different parts of the world, including cases, which have been proven in the courtroom. It therefore does happen.

Ritual abuse is in some way different from other forms of abuse. All abuse is ritualised and organised to some degree and is based on an abuse of power. While there may be differences in the specifics of any abuse and even in the beliefs of the abusers, ritual abuse is similar to other forms of abuse. It may be more extreme, in some cases, but the effects on survivors are very similar.

Ritual abuse is worse than other forms of abuse. All abuse is horrendous and can have devastating effects on survivors. It is an individual experience and no one can declare any form of abuse better or worse than any other. Abuse is not a comparative nor competitive thing and the effects on each person will be entirely unique to them.

Ritual abuse is everywhere. As with all forms of abuse, ritual abuse crosses all boundaries of race, class, culture, etc. It may not be everywhere, but it can certainly happen anywhere. It is not specific to one type of person.

Ritual abuse happens only in cults. Some does and some does not. Some abusers belong to cults or groups but ritual abuse can also happen within the family setting or an individual basis.

All ritual abuse is generational i.e. it runs in families. As with all kinds of abuse, most adults have choices. It can be that there is a family history of ritual abuse but survivors do get out of it and end the ‘tradition’. Some people choose to abuse in this way without any previous history of involvement in ritual abuse. People can be recruited into ritual abuse either directly because they are interested or vulnerable, or indirectly through pornography or prostitution.

All ritual abuse involves devil worship. Some does, some doesn’t. Abusers will use any excuse and/or tactic to hold and maintain their power over survivors including the use of a belief system. Other belief systems besides Satanism may also be used by abusers to take power over individuals, including Christianity.