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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136123 Find in a Library
Title: Out of Darkness: Exploring Satanism and Ritual Abuse
Editor(s): D K Sakheim; S E Devine
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 334
Sponsoring Agency: Macmillan
New York, NY 10010
Publication Number: ISBN 0-669-26962-X
Sale Source: Macmillan
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In presenting papers by leading researchers in forensic psychiatry, multiple personality and dissociative disorders, traumatic stress, and religious studies as well as by an FBI agent and two ritual-abuse survivors, this book explores the prevalence, nature, and treatment of ritual child abuse, particularly as manifested in some satanic religions.
Abstract: The first two chapters examine the history as well as the beliefs and practices of groups labeled "satanic." The discussion indicates that these groups are hegerogeneous and complex, and satanism as a religion does not inherently produce illegal behavior and rituals. The chapters in this book focus on the ritual practice of child sexual, physical, and psychological abuse which may be perpetrated by an adherent of any religion, but which in clinical experience is most often associated with satanic cults. One chapter assesses alternative hypotheses regarding claims of satanic cult activity. The chapter concludes that definitions and methodologies are so varied among researchers that there is no reliable data on the prevalence of what is called, albeit under varied definitions, "satanism." Remaining chapters explore the definition, detection, and treatment of ritual child abuse, defined as "abuse inflicted upon a victim in a repetitive, systematic, stylized, and methodical fashion." Such abuse yields severe trauma that requires skilled psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. Maladaptive coping mechanisms by ritual abuse survivors and constructive therapeutic techniques for use with these survivors are discussed. For the chapter on the law enforcement perspective on allegations of ritual abuse, see NCJ 136124. Chapter references and a subject index
Main Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Child abuse causes
Index Term(s): Child abuse detection; Cults; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Psychological evaluation
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