Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Child Sexual Abuse


ritual abuse, child sexual abuse


This article compares protective service workers' perceptions of sexual abuse to their percepons of ritual abuse. Perceptual elements examined include the type of problem the abuse is for victims, difficulties encountered when investigating an allegation, treatment and assessment resources available in their communities, and a comparison of their definitions of sexual and ritual abuse. The professional community has not reached a consensus on the ritual abuse controversy. Perceptions found in the literature range from the presentation of ritual abuse as a serious social problem that is distinctly different from sexual abuse to a consideration of the ritual abuse phenomenon as multidimensional sexual abuse. The study seeks to contribute to the process of consensus building by giving voice to the perceptions of social workers in the public child welfare setting. Implications for the investigation of sexual and ritual abuse allegations for social work and the larger practice community are discussed.



Embargo Period


Included in

Social Work Commons