Aufsätze - Ritual Abuse:
Thorsten Becker & Joan ColemanBefore we start with our presentation we have to point out two statements.
First is that we do not make a diagnosis of Ritual Abuse. Even ‘sexual abuse’ or ‘kidnapping’ are not diagnoses. But all these three terms have at least two things in common: They are crimes and they can cause severe traumatic stress.
Second: we started out with the idea of giving an overview about the situation in Europe. We are in touch with colleagues from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Austria and Switzerland. Due to time limitations we have decided to focus only on the United Kingdom and Germany.
Ritual Abuse in the U.K.Joan Coleman
I have only a few minutes in which to talk about 12 years’ study of ritual abuse in the UK. Both before and after retiring from National Health Services employment, I worked closely with several adult survivors. For nearly nine years I have been co-ordinator of RAINS, the Ritual Abuse Information Network and Support. There have been altogether about 400 members. Some move on, but new ones are constantly joining.
RAINS supports professionals of any discipline who are working with ritual abuse and all applications for membership come through me. I therefore hear many accounts from therapists and carers regarding those whom they support. Survivors also ring RAINS, and although it is not meant as a helpline for them, it is impossible to slam the door in their faces, so great is their need. We receive calls, in addition, from police officers, lawyers and journalists who have encountered ritual abuse and are often less sceptical than some mental health professionals.
SAFE, another organisation, is a telephone helpline specifically for victims of ritual abuse. They receive over 1000 calls a year from survivors, of which, on average, one a week are first time calls.
1 Presentation at the ISSD Spring Conference "The Spectrum of Dissociation" Manchester, UK; 9th May 1999