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The Politics and Experience of Ritual Abuse: Beyond Disbelief (UK Higher Education OUP Humanities & Social Sciences Sociology) Paperback – 1 May 2001
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About the Author
Sara Scott is based in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Liverpool, she is currently working on a Department of Health funded project developing training on gender issues for staff in the secure psychiatric sector. In 1997/98 she held the first Sociological Review Fellowship at Keele University.
Top customer reviews
Key topics and areas covered in book: This book covers so many different topics some directly others indirectly. There are seven topics specifically covered in this book. Child sexual abuse and its’ relation to society. Survivors as witnesses and the effects of memories. Pornography, prostitution as part of and separate to ‘everyday’ life. The issues surrounding the beliefs in and believing of ritual abuse. The role gender has in all of this. The issue of death and how deaths are separated and made meaningful and finally how the ‘self’ is made up including a discussion on multiple personalities.
How I view the book as a survivor: As a survivor I found this book helpful but also very difficult. The book is based on the life stories of survivors and as such included a lot of detailed accounts of the abuse these survivors had suffered. I found it helpful to read as it helped ease the feelings of isolation and it helped to remind me that others have managed to get out and survive. The section on making death meaningful was extremely triggering and raised a lot of issues about my own feelings of death.
The overall impression of the book: Overall I feel this book is certainly a must for anyone doubting the existence of ritual abuse. It presents not just an argument for the belief in ritual abuse but gives a clear, honest and uncut insight into the lives of survivors. I would advise that this book only be read by survivors who have a good support network as it could be difficult to cope with on their own.
Key Quote: There are so many key quotes in this book all of which I wish I could put here but I feel the most important one was the one that showed Sara Scott’s understanding of survivors the fact that “It concerns [her] that some of those working with survivors of ritual abuse have become more interested in the symptoms than in their cause – asking not ‘what has happened to this person?’ but ‘what is wrong with this person?’” indicating that she understands there is nothing wrong with being a survivor.
But Sara Scott is not among them. On the contrary she analyzes the inner logic of the backlash movement against survivors and above all she analyzes the sociology of the ritually abusive groups. I have never before seen such a convincing analysis ot the belief systems and the power structures in these groups.
Sara Scott had done a lot for RA survivors and those who support them by writing this book!
This book also includes an important dissection of Jean LaFontaine's government report on ritual abuse and the work of Elizabeth Loftus, addressing the way in which these texts have been used by those trying to deny ritual abuse. A great study. Any one still in the skeptic camp should definitely get a hold of this.
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