ERIC Number: ED343045
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Aug-19
Reference Count: N/A
Profile of Ritualistic and Religion-Related Abuse Allegations Reported to Clinical Psychologists in the United States.
Bottoms, Bette L.; And Others
One of the most shocking claims about child abuse in recent years is that satanic, occult, or ritualistic abuse is occurring and on the rise. To date, no one has attempted to assess the prevalence of claims of such abuse, or to determine the range of cases and the nature of the typical case. This study is currently surveying approximately 41,000 persons and agencies, including all county-level social service, law, and district attorney agencies, as well as a sample of psychologists, psychiatrists, and clinical social workers. Data gathered from 2,709 American Psychological Association (APA) clinicians represents a 46% response rate from this group. Preliminary results indicated that less than a third of APA clinical psychologists have encountered cases of ritualistic or religion-related abuse since January 1980. Among those who have encountered cases, the definition of ritualistic abuse varies. The two most common features, forced participation in sexual activities, and abuse repeated in a prescribed manner, have no necessary connection with satanism, the issue that makes ritualistic abuse such a volatile topic. However, 44% of cases viewed as ritualistic do include symbols or objects associated with the devil. The most extreme and bizarre features of ritualistic abuse occur more frequently in adult-survivor than in child cases. A few clinical psychologists account for a huge proportion of all ritual case reports, and almost all clinical psychologists who reported any ritualistic or religion-related cases believe their clients' stories on the basis of their clients' dramatic emotions and clinical symptoms, even though there is often no external evidence for them. (19 references) (LLL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (DHHS/OHDS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A