This concern seems to get worse when the survivor is known, or suspected, to still be involved with the abusers. I wonder where all this fear comes from? Is it that supporters have been attacked so many times they have become extremely cautious? Well, if so, surely the police would be investigating? Surely of all those I know who support survivors of ritual abuse, I would have met at least one who could tell me horror stories? I have not!
Is it that the fears survivors have are so great that fear becomes contagious? If so, perhaps I am just too thick skinned to catch it? Is there a myth perpetuated by abusers so people become wary of survivors? I don’t know. What I do know is, the most frequently asked questions I get are, ‘aren’t you afraid of the abusers?’ or ‘have you been attacked?’ the answer to the first is easy. ‘No! I am not afraid! Why would I be?’ Abusers are bullies and cowards therefore I have no need to fear them. However, the second question is a wee bit harder.
I have worked with survivors for many years and this may be an obvious statement to make but for the sake of clarity, I will make it. I am still alive and kicking, despite long involvement in helping survivors of ritual abuse. Have I been attacked as a result of work? I’m not sure. You see, there have been many strange incidents, which have been directed at me and it would be so easy to put these incidents down to my work in order to explain them. Then again, perhaps these incidents are completely unassociated with my work?
Let’s look at some of the facts. I am a woman, a feminist, a single parent, live in an area of high crime and deprivation. I work at helping people disclose abuse. I live a different lifestyle from most people. I’m sorry folks, but what this tells me is I am likely to be a target in this society and community. I believe that the incidents I have experienced are nothing to do with supporting survivors of ritual abuse at all. They are more to do with being different, challenging others, prejudice and violence in society. On examination of many incidents, not one incident has ever happened through my work with survivors.
I have been a thorn in the side of many abusers for a while and if any flak was available, I am certain I would have had it by now. I have stolen survivors from abusive situations, have taken survivors to my home, have walked into the homes of the abusers, have helped survivors talk to the police, have written extensively about ritual abuse and publicly spoken out against it. Why, if the abusers are so powerful, and inclined to frighten off the supporters, have they not had a go at me? I think it’s because they do not have the power or the bottle. Also, having a go at the supporters only adds credence to what the survivors say.
Survivors believe abusers are all powerful. This is understandable given their powerlessness in relation to their oppressors, but we don’t all have to swallow this belief. True power does not come from overwhelming the helpless; it comes from overcoming a powerful adversary. I believe, based on my experience, that most of us have nothing to fear from groups of abusers. Rather, abusers have a great deal to fear from survivors and their supporters.