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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136592 Find in a Library
Title: Investigator's Guide to Allegations of "Ritual" Child Abuse
Corporate Author: US Dept of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
FBI Acad
United States of America
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 46
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Justice
Quantico, VA 22134
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the view that child sexual abuse is often committed by members of satanic cults or other ritualistic groups concludes that this conclusion is questionable and that investigations should focus on the facts while considering alternative explanations.
Abstract: In the United States the prevailing attitude toward child sexual abuse is denial. In addition, the long-standing stereotype of abusers as complete strangers has been replaced by the view that satanic devil worshipers are victimizing children. Conferences have focused on the subject, although it has been impossible to document the widespread existence of this problem. Alternative explanations for the allegations include pathological distortion due to mental disorders in the victim, traumatic memory, normal childhood fears and fantasy, confusion, trickery, overzealous intervenors, and the spreading of urban legends. Law enforcement personnel should focus on the facts of each case. They should be alert for the four basic dynamics of child sex rings: (1) multiple young victims, (2) multiple offenders, (3) fear as the controlling tactic, and (4) multidimensional rings. However, investigations should keep religious beliefs separate from the investigation, listen to the victims, carefully assess and evaluate the victim's statements, establish communication with the parents, and use an interdisciplinary team approach. 22 references
Main Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Cults
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Investigative techniques
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