Ritual abuse is an extreme, sadistic form of abuse of children and non-consenting adults. The abusers of innocent children hold no mercy as they psychologically, physically, and emotionally torture their victims to do their bidding. When the victims are finally set free, they are forbidden to talk about what happens to them in fear that they, or their family, will be killed. Ritual abuse occurs within every region of our country, (MacDonald & Sarson, 2002); this paper will present concrete statistics to substantiate this statement. This paper will also explain what ritual abuse is and provide background information, explain why it happens, and the effects it has on victims.
According to Harvey Wallace’s book, in reference to the Los Angeles County Commission for Women in 1989, the most widely used definition of ritual abuse is as follows:
“A brutal form of abuse of children consisting of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, and involving the use of rituals. Ritual does not mean satanic. However, most survivors state that they were ritually abused as part of satanic worship for the purpose of indoctrinating them into satanic beliefs and practices. Ritual abuse rarely consists of a single episode. It usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time (Wallace, 2008).”
This is just one of the many definitions given to describe ritual abuse, as there are different forms of it that occur within communities. These forms of abuse are as follows: Ritual child abuse is the repeated abuse of children by their caretakers through such acts as cruelty to animals, and threats or harm to either the child, an animal, or other persons; Cult ritual child abuse is the repeated abuse of children by a religious group and/or the child’s caretakers through cruelty to animals and threats to harm family and friends to reinforce the cults beliefs; Group ritual child abuse is the repeated abuse of children by a group of people responsible for the child through acts such as cruelty to animals and threats of harm to the child, other persons or animals, to sustain the groups unity; Ritualistic abuse is the repeated, almost business like, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse of children through the cults satanic worship; and Satanic ritual abuse is the psychological, physical, and sexual abuse of children by two or more persons whose main goal is to conduct an orthodox ritual in which the worship of the devil is ensued (Victims of Violence, 2008). Most survivors recollect being tortured by a cult through having them take part in such acts as: viewing sacrifices of both animals and people, cannibalism, made to take part in orgies consisting of both adults and children, or being “reborn of evil” by being stuffed inside a dead animal only to have them taken out not long after (Wallace, 2008). Other victims have recalled being exploited and used for trafficking purposes to earn the perpetrator some money (MacDonald & Sarson, 2002). All these...