Ritualistic abuses can include all examples including psychological, cultural, sexual, spiritual and or physical assault. Children are most often the victims of these ritual abuses generally because of the lack of their ability to protect themselves.
Each of these examples leaves deep seeded scars and requires extensive effort and techniques to repair the emotional and often physical damage.
Religious abuse is based on a perceived power over another where religion is fear based. It can be a misuse or selfish use of the power of the position of the religious figure. There are emotional components, violent actions and even emotional.
Often religious abuses cause long term effects which can only be dealt with after extensive psychological and emotional reparative work.
I was terrified of the Catholic nuns although the priest never instilled any negative emotions until my mid teenage years. When I was nine years old one of the boys began to laugh during catechism. The nun stormed over to him and hauled off as hard as she could and slapped his face.
I jumped up and said “God wouldn’t want you to slap him!”
She marched over to where I stood and began to wind up in order to hit me as well when I said “He’ll like you even less if you hit me to!”
I spent the rest of the day with my nose pressed against the outside wall.
I began to doubt the validity of the church and especially the nuns. I realized years later I withdrew from the church a little at a time. By the time I was a teenager I went through the motions as was expected but didn’t realize until many years later I had developed a self-defense mechanism.
First I began to withdraw my participation in activities and in helping with projects at the church. By the time I left home for college, I regularly argued with the priest about his practices. In our house, that was a major affront and not tolerated in the least.
But, as most teenagers, I had become head strong and knew exactly what I thought and why. I also believe I was completely justified in not blindly accepting the actions of the priests and nuns just because of their positions.