Ritual, and child sexual abuse, but not ritual child sexual abuse

Bernard Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Central to the controversy over ritual (satanic) child sexual abuse have been claims concerning agency ‘diagnoses’ of cases. Specifically, it has been alleged that agency findings of ritual abuse have been erroneous and are the product of poor practice. There is, though, little systematic information regarding agency assessment of suspected ritual abuse cases. This paper presents two cases where there was evidence both of child sexual abuse and ‘ritual’ but where agencies adjudged that these aspects occurred independently of one another and were not indicative of ritual child sexual abuse. The existence of these cases underlines the need for a broader and more balanced debate in respect of ritual abuse in general and the agency handling of these cases in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
JournalChild Abuse Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2000


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