Maria (59) experienced ritual abuse in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany as well as in the Netherlands and Rome. «What I had to do to other children is worse than what happened to me», she says.
How or through whom did you come into contact with ritual abuse?
Through my parents or my family. And it was my father first. Later, my mother took over, probably because my father was an alcoholic. However, an aunt of mine is also involved. Who else, I don’t know.
What are the typical experiences you have had as a victim?
There was abuse. There was torture. It was also that you had to watch how other children were tortured. And it was mostly in small groups, mostly in a church environment.
What was your worst experience?
It’s hard to say what was the worst. I think the worst thing was watching other children being tortured, or having to do things to other children myself. It’s worse than what happened to myself.
How do the perpetrators get the children to comply?
By having to experience fear of death over and over again, being tortured, and somehow just wanting to live as a child. To a certain extent, I could be unruly and then I realized that if I wanted to live, I can’t fight back. Then I have to go along with it. Otherwise I won’t live anymore.
Finally, do you have a personal concern or message?
My concern is, that the issue needs to be made much more aware and made much more known, so that children are protected today, so that no child has to go through something like that anymore. That’s probably utopian, but at least that kids can get out of it and be protected from it. This is very important to me.