Ritual abuse is an extreme, sadistic form of abuse of children.  It is methodical, systematic sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse, which often includes mind control, torture, and highly illegal and immoral activities such as murder, child pornography and prostitution. The abuse is justified by a religious or political ideology, used on a child in a ritual setting or manner.  In a broad sense, many of our overtly or covertly socially sanctioned actions can be seen as ritual abuse, such as  hazing, racism,  and spanking.  Some abuse is private,  and some is some public. Public ritual abuse may be either open or secret.  The term is generally used to mean repeated, extreme, sadistic abuse, especially of children, within a group setting. The group’s ideology is used to justify the abuse, and abuse is used to teach the group’s ideology. The activities are kept secret from society at large, as they violate norms and laws.

Ritual abuse is perpetrated by men and women from all walks of life and geographical areas, both rural and urban. The percent of the population that perpetrates or that is victimized is unknown.  Perpetrators have been classified as family members who were abused as children, and in turn abuse and indoctrinate their own children. The tradition can go back for generations;  Adults who  abuse non-related children, who can be accessed at day care, schools, church, or through social groups; or  by Adults, who may or may not have had abusive childhoods.

Physical, emotional, sexual, and spiritual abuse can all occur with Ritualistic Abuse. Physical abuse can occur as beatings, electroshock, torture, confinement, or forced ingestion of drugs, blood, and feces. Emotional abuse involves trickery, deceit, and blaming the victim. Sadistic and forced sex with children are forms that sexual abuse can take. Spiritual abuse can manifest as reversal of good and evil, a destruction-based morality, and the denial of freedom of thought.

Ritualistic Child  Abusers have a very large stake in remaining undetected, and they keep their secrets well.  They terrorize their victims into silence.  Society as a whole does not want to believe that its norms and laws have been so blatantly and extremely violated, so society turns its back in denial.   Symptoms of Ritualistic Abuse are non-specific to ritual abuse. Trauma is trauma, and physical and sexual abuse is physical and sexual abuse. Because the abuse is so severe, the symptoms may be especially severe and recalcitrant.