As with young children there are several different ways that teenagers can become involved in ritual abuse. Young people tend not to be as easily taken in to an abusive group situation as younger children are. With young people, unless they have been born into a group, getting them involved in the group activities is done in different and much more subtle ways.
It is much less likely that, with teenagers who have never experienced ritual abuse before, they will end up involved in it at home. Even in the case of their parent marrying into it, it is a great deal harder for the abuser to get older children, who already have the notion of right and wrong firmly set in their minds, to cooperate enough to involve them in an abusive group. Though, in the case of a parent bringing an abusive partner into the home, they almost certainly will experience some form of abuse and domestic violence, it is very unlikely that they will be used in rituals and group events. There is far too much chance that an older child will talk to someone and expose the abusers.
Young people who have led lives relatively free from abuse are not quite as easily silenced and controlled as much younger children are. They usually know too much about the real world to be tricked in the way that younger children are. Teenagers are also not as dependent on the adults in their lives as younger children are and are therefore much more likely to have outside interests and a circles of friends. This sometimes saves them from any approach by members of groups. It is much more likely with young people that they first approach ritual abuse willingly and completely unwittingly, through not knowing exactly what it is they are really getting into at the time.
Young People Born into Ritual Abuse
Young people may already be involved in an abusive group because they were involved as children by their carers or family and have never been rescued from it. For them it may be all they know and to them it is very much a normal way of life. They may never have questioned the lives that they live and they may have very little to compare their life with. From their own perspective, their lives are completely normal. Some of these young people are very controlled by their families and have no easy way of finding out about how other people live.
Those who have been born into it by the time they become teenagers are already well conditioned not to talk and though some may be beginning to act out and rebel outside the home, this is usually put down to typical teenage behaviour. Though many of the signs of abuse are already present in their behaviours, it is rare for anyone to pick up on these signs in a positive way. Young people are a very diverse group and a too quiet and obedient teenager is all but invisible in school while a disruptive and troublesome teenager is often rendered invisible by being excluded from the school. Neither will usually be noticed as a survivor. Even constant running away from home, which to many with some awareness would indicate a problem at home, is usually put down to the young person being seen as the problem rather than being seen as a young person who has a problem.
By the time young people who have been born into ritual abuse reach their teens, they will have been involved fully in most of the group rituals. Many will be so indoctrinated in the faith and beliefs of the group that there can be no question of betrayal of the family and the group. Most will be completely unable to trust anyone else, especially adults, and they will have learned that they are totally powerless to resist against those who are stronger than them.
Young people are, by nature, curious and as part of the process of growing up and becoming adults, they can sometimes be rebellious and look to do completely the opposite to their parents. When they discover through other young people, adults they admire or, more and more these days, via the Internet, that there are such interesting things as secret societies, the occult and pornography, some of them begin to express an interest in it.
Young people drawn toward the occult, paganism, secret societies and religious cults are already moving in a general direction, which can lead them into trouble. While a great deal of this type of thing is completely harmless to anyone, abusive groups are really well disguised and may appear to be completely harmless at first. Unwittingly, a young person may end up close to the fringes of a group looking to recruit young fresh blood. The young person will be carefully cultivated by members of the group, taught some of the principles of the group and initially pampered and made to feel important. Abusers will begin a brainwashing process, which, as they begin to be able to control the young person more, will increase in intensity. Often there is also heavy use made of drugs to make the young person more dependent and complacent. Gradually the young person becomes drawn in and involved in the fringe activities.
Many young people who get close to the fringe of a group and begin to become involved in criminal activities find this very exciting at first. They feel important and daring and are usually provided with money for the illegal tasks they carry out. Fringe members of the group encouraged them in these activities and begin to test them out to see how far they will go. In this way, the group begins to get an idea of the young person’s moral code. At the same time, the young person will get getting some teaching in some of the areas they were first interested in.
One of the first things that a group will do once they have a bit control is to ensure that the young person is quickly involved in a more serious crime so as to implicate them and thus silence them. The group will make sure that they hold the proof of what the young person did and this can be a useful lever. At first these young people will not be abused by the group but will soon begin to be involved in the abuse of others. They may also be encouraged into other crimes such as trafficking in drugs, stealing vehicles, and distribution of counterfeit money or pornography.
Vulnerable Young People
Young runaways are very much at risk from all abusers. These young people are already missing from home with no one knowing where they are at any one time. Runaways most often rely on theft, prostitution and handouts from others to survive on the streets. It therefore becomes very easy for an adult to pretend to be sympathetic, build up a relationship with the young person and persuade them to go somewhere with them. As they are already reported missing, these young people can easily be taken by an abusive group and can quite simply disappear from the world. As there is rarely any intention of ever releasing these young people, the abusers can do as they please to them from the start.
Young people in care are also vulnerable to abusive groups. Authority of any kind often disillusions these young people and many feel aggrieved by the very system that was supposed to care from them. As such, they are often socially excluded, may have been already been abused and many begin to drift towards crime, drugs and prostitution. Abusers when they get near them, carefully cultivate some of these vulnerable young people and through a pretence of caring about them, can begin to pull the young person into the fringes of the group. Many young people in care, in Scotland at least, are thrust abruptly out of care and left to fend for themselves at the age of sixteen. These young people are extremely vulnerable and become easy prey for those abusers who want to recruit young people for their own uses.