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Ritual abuse

What is Ritual Abuse? Ritual abuse is the severe and systematic abuse of one or more children, adolescents or adults, usually by a number of perpetrators of both sexes over a long period.

This can be based on a belief system (such as Satanic Ritual Abuse) that the abusers use to justify their behaviour. It can include physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse which may take place in a ritualised or ceremonial context.

Survivors of ritual abuse often speak of being forced to take drugs, being forced into prostitution or being forced to abuse other people. They also speak of physical injuries being inflicted upon them for the sexual gratification of the perpetrators.

Ritual abuse often involves whole families and can carry on through generations.

Feelings that may be experienced by survivors of Ritual Abuse

The most important issue for survivors is that they feel they can trust and be believed when they disclose. Survivors will often have been told by the perpetrators that they can never escape, that no matter where they go, they will be found or that no one will believe them. We support survivors of ritual abuse.

DID -Dissociative Identity Disorder

Disassociation occurs when a person experiences extreme stress or stimulation. Under these conditions, life is experienced differently and the memory of an event is stored differently in the mind.

Research suggests that the brain operates differently when experiencing or recalling stressful and non-stressful events. When a child is severely abused, extreme stress occurs repeatedly. Many events are experienced in a state of shock, stored in a dissociative state, and recalled in fragments.

If a child dissociates extensively, even memories of less stressful events can be dissociated. Perhaps the child is still in shock, perhaps the child’s sensitivity to stress is raised, perhaps the mind comes to store all material in a familiar way.

There are innate temperamental differences between people. Some people probably dissociate more easily than others or require less stress to change over into dissociative mode.

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