Claudia (45) experienced ritual abuse from the age of 0 to 18 – in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands. “I was born into the cult,” she says.
How or through whom did you come into contact with ritual abuse?
I was born into it. My mother was already in it and my uncle and my grandma. And so I was there from the beginning.
What are the typical experiences you have had as a victim?
Extreme violence and torture. Sexual violence, actually all kinds of sexual violence, humiliation and …
Where and in what context did it take place?
At the gatherings, at the ritual celebrations, at those. So when the gatherings were, but also at my uncle’s friends. Also in the context of … My mother also sold me to other men, that was practiced on a larger scale at celebrations.
What was your worst experience?
There is not “one” bad experience. There are … But rather the … So what is particularly bad, is the hopelessness and despair in the situations when you are just in the middle of it, when these celebrations take place and you are abused or also raped and you … You have to watch violence being done to others. How really bad things happen. And the whole environment, the whole atmosphere, the smell, the whole thing. There’s just a desperation that it never stops. So there’s no … There’s no hope, there’s no out. And the dignity is … You just feel like a person without dignity. They treat you like … like somebody who’s just conditioned, to do what they demand.
How do the perpetrators get the children to comply?
It was never a question because I was born into it, and that was just the way it was. And the reality was just that when you … You just don’t have a choice. Either you do what they want, or you have to face the consequences. The reality is just the way it was.
Finally, do you have a personal concern or message?
Yes, I myself have experienced that Jesus is stronger than Satan. And that helped me a lot, gives me strength until today. I also want to give everyone hope, that they just won’t give up. There is a way out and there is also healing. This hopelessness and despair that I had all the time practically came to an end. I don’t mean a church or institution, but where the faith is.