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Cultic Studies Journal

Ritual Child Abuse: Understanding the Controversies

Psychological Manipulation and Society: cults, cult groups, new religious movements

Cultic Studies Journal
Psychological Manipulation and Society
Vol. 8, No. 2, 1991

Ritual Child Abuse: Understanding the Controversies

David W. Lloyd, Esq.
National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect

The phenomenon of "ritual child abuse" has created a major national controversy. The general public is confused by media reports of notorious cases with different outcomes in California, Florida, and Massachusetts, and other states. Professionals in the fields of child welfare, mental health, law enforcement, and law disagree about the definition of "ritual child abuse," how frequently it occurs, and what we know about the individuals and groups who commit it. Positions have thus become polarized within the same field. This paper is intended to explore that controversy and some of the myriad issues involved.

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