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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136124 Find in a Library
Title: Law-Enforcement Perspective on Allegations of Ritual Abuse (From Out of Darkness: Exploring Satanism and Ritual Abuse, P 109-146, 1992, David K Sakheim and Susan E Devine, Eds. -- See NCJ-136123)
Author(s): K V Lanning
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 38
Sponsoring Agency: Macmillan
New York, NY 10010
Sale Source: Macmillan
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States of America
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper, written by a member of the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI Academy who specializes in the study of all aspects of the sexual victimization of children examines the evidence for various patterns in the sexual abuse of children, notably ritual abuse.
Abstract: Although the term "ritual abuse" is used in the title of this paper, the author refuses to propose a definition of it, since each potential definition presents problems when measured against an objective, rational, and constitutional perspective. A historical overview of society's attitudes toward child sexual abuse focuses on society's changing perceptions of the primary sexual threat to children the 1970's saw an increased awareness of intrafamilial child sexual abuse, but the 1980's saw a return to an earlier focus on stranger abduction of children. Claims that members of satanic cults are engaged in the mass abduction of children for ritualistic sex practices and sacrifices have built upon this fear of strangers as the primary sexual threats to children. Child sex rings (one or more offenders simultaneously involved sexually with several child victims) are discussed in terms of their dynamics, characteristics, motives, and methods. The author concludes, however, that there is insufficient objective evidence, apart from the claims of supposed victims and witnesses, that massive child sexual abuse is being perpetrated by groups motivated in their abuse by satanic beliefs. The paper examines possible reasons why people might make false claims. 14 references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Cults
Index Term(s): Child molesters; Crime patterns
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