Myths, Facts and Beliefs of Ritual Abuse

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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.


 Beliefs, Myths and Facts about Survivors of Ritual Abuse


One of the most important things to understand about any survivor of any kind of abuse is that generalisation is not useful. People are individuals with individual responses. It is better to get to know individuals rather than swallowing the many myths that abound.


                                                       Myths and Facts



Survivors are all still involved with the group on some level

This is insulting to the many survivors who have escaped. Leaving any abusive situation is a process and not an single event. Some survivors may be involved and may still be being abused. Some survivors maintain some contact with the abusers for quite a long time. The same is true of survivors of domestic violence and child sexual abuse where there can be many difficulties to overcome in getting out. Continued involvement is no more the case in ritual abuse than any other form of abuse.

There is no escape possible for survivors of ritual abuse

Though escape from this type of abuse can be very difficult, many survivors do get out. We have countless testimonies from survivors who have escaped and stayed free.


All survivors of ritual abuse report back to the 'family' or group

As with any abuse, breaking away can be very difficult. This does not mean that they report back to anyone. Many survivors do break away completely and many keep contact to a minimum.


Survivors of ritual abuse can never lead normal lives unless they have years of therapy

Survivors were speaking out and leading normal lives long before therapy was invented. Many survivors of ritual abuse do lead normal lives and do so without therapy. They hold responsible jobs, raise families and get on with their lives. Some survivors do get help from therapists but many are unable to yet can still find a way to heal and move on.


Survivors of ritual abuse are so badly damaged that only professionals can help

Many people need professional help in their lives, not just survivors of ritual abuse. Some survivors help themselves. Some get help from friends. Some go to organisations, help each other or go to therapists. Not all survivors are badly damaged, though some may be.


Survivors can be involved and not be aware of it if they have multiple personalities

Any survivor's awareness of ongoing abuse can be blocked out, forgotten, denied or minimised as a way of coping with a horrendous situation. People with multiple personalities can be just as aware of everything that is going on around them as anyone else.


Due to the satanic element, only Christians should support survivors of ritual abuse

Survivors need to be able to choose for themselves the type of support they receive and from whom they receive it. The most important thing is that survivors have enough choices. Also, not all ritual abuse is satanic.

Survivors of ritual abuse are all abusers

Ritual abuse survivors may have been forced to involve others in abusive acts but as free adults we all have choices. Survivors may sometimes believe themselves to be abusive because of a situation they were forced to be in, but that does not mean they are. Survivors of ritual abuse are no more likely to become abusers than anyone else.


Survivors of ritual abuse are dangerous

To whom?
Survivors survive dangerous situations and escape from these situations. They are no more likely to be a danger to someone else than any other person. Sometimes though, survivors are conditioned to believe this themselves and may avoid talking, or getting support in the belief of safeguarding others. This can be an effective tactic abusers often use to ensure the silence of survivors.


All people who have multiple personalities are ritual abuse survivors

People who are not survivors of ritual abuse can develop multiplicity as a way of coping with any severe trauma. It is not helpful to make sweeping generalisations or assumptions about anyone.


All survivors of ritual abuse have multiple personalities

This is not true. Some survivors of ritual abuse develop multiplicity as a natural way of coping with the abuse but others develop different coping mechanisms to survive. Most coping mechanisms are formed in childhood and children learn to cope in whatever way works best for them. This is an individual response to an unbearable situation.

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