This concern seems to get worse when the survivor is known, or suspected, to still be involved with the abusers. I wonder where all this fear comes from? Is it that supporters have been attacked so many times they have become extremely cautious? Well, if so, surely the police would be investigating? Surely of all those I know who support survivors of ritual abuse, I would have met at least one who could tell me horror stories? I have not!
Is it that the fears survivors have are so great that fear becomes contagious? If so, perhaps I am just too thick skinned to catch it? Is there a myth perpetuated by abusers so people become wary of survivors? I don’t know. What I do know is, the most frequently asked questions I get are, ‘aren’t you afraid of the abusers?’ or ‘have you been attacked?’ the answer to the first is easy. ‘No! I am not afraid! Why would I be?’ Abusers are bullies and cowards therefore I have no need to fear them. However, the second question is a wee bit harder.
I have worked with survivors for many years and this may be an obvious statement to make but for the sake of clarity, I will make it. I am still alive and kicking, despite long involvement in helping survivors of ritual abuse. Have I been attacked as a result of work? I’m not sure. You see, there have been many strange incidents, which have been directed at me and it would be so easy to put these incidents down to my work in order to explain them. Then again, perhaps these incidents are completely unassociated with my work?
Let’s look at some of the facts. I am a woman, a feminist, a single parent, live in an area of high crime and deprivation. I work at helping people disclose abuse. I live a different lifestyle from most people. I’m sorry folks, but what this tells me is I am likely to be a target in this society and community. I believe that the incidents I have experienced are nothing to do with supporting survivors of ritual abuse at all. They are more to do with being different, challenging others, prejudice and violence in society. On examination of many incidents, not one incident has ever happened through my work with survivors.
I have been a thorn in the side of many abusers for a while and if any flak was available, I am certain I would have had it by now. I have stolen survivors from abusive situations, have taken survivors to my home, have walked into the homes of the abusers, have helped survivors talk to the police, have written extensively about ritual abuse and publicly spoken out against it. Why, if the abusers are so powerful, and inclined to frighten off the supporters, have they not had a go at me? I think it’s because they do not have the power or the bottle. Also, having a go at the supporters only adds credence to what the survivors say.
Survivors believe abusers are all powerful. This is understandable given their powerlessness in relation to their oppressors, but we don’t all have to swallow this belief. True power does not come from overwhelming the helpless; it comes from overcoming a powerful adversary. I believe, based on my experience, that most of us have nothing to fear from groups of abusers. Rather, abusers have a great deal to fear from survivors and their supporters.
Does anyone out there have any information on, or ideas about, the what lies behind the wave of mysterious and bloodthirsty seal killings in South Ronaldsay, Orkney – which always happen at this time of year , and involve 20-30 seals, either heavily-pregnant females or newborn pups?
The media always report that police are baffled and that the usual leads (to angry fishermen) never seem to go anywhere. The guns used are never found. Press reports last week had seal experts describing the latest shootings, of 19 heavily-pregnant females, as “unbelievable…apparently the work of a gun-crazy individual.”
While previous mass killings have always been reported a few days before Halloween, this year they took place several weeks earlier. Could these either be ritual killings or the work of an individual weirdo affected by growing up with RA? This is not at all a daft question given that South Ronaldsay was the site of the “Orkney child abuse affair” in 1991 and that one of the sites near Burray where seals have been found was in the area where informed sources always said the rituals actually took place. Not in other sites and quarries which were trundled out as a “smokescreen” and then discredited. Informed sources always suggested also that at least 20 families were involved in RA and not the small number who were investigated.
If they are rituals what kind of rituals might they be, and do they serve as a public warning of some kind? Are the abusers still on South Ronaldsay after more than a decade?
'Run! Rabbit! Run!’ and other titles are available from our online shop.
Run Rabbit RunRabbit grew up in a warren. She was always sad. She was always bad. She was afraid. She didn’t like living in the warren. It was dark and cold. She always had to fight. She knew it was wrong. She was always being hurt. She knew it wasn’t right. Rabbit never was able to do baby rabbit things. She wasn’t allowed. She was always in pain, again and again. She was never able to relax or play. She never knew fun. Instead, Rabbit had to grow up fast. She had to learn to run. She had to survive. To stay alive, she had to be the fastest. This she did.
As soon as Rabbit could, she ran from the warren. She was only half grown, but that was enough. She ran. She would grow with time. She knew nothing about the outside but it had to be better than the warren. She chose outside. Rabbit ran fast. She ran from the past. She chose the unknown in preference for the known. Without a backwards glance, Rabbit ran. She had no regrets about leaving. She said no farewells. She told no-one. She would miss no-one and nothing. The only thought that Rabbit had was to run as far and as fast from the warren as she could. This she did.
Rabbit found the outside world to be very different. The only thing she knew for certain was she must hide where she came from. No-one must know about the warren. Beyond that, she knew nothing. It was hard to learn things she didn’t know. She never even knew what it was she didn’t know. She needed to know things, but didn’t know what things she needed to know. She needed to know. But she didn’t know what she didn’t know. How could she? She knew all about warren life but nothing about outside life. She had to watch carefully to try and find out everything. This she did.
Occasionally, some things seemed familiar, but when she looked closer, they were different. At first she made many mistakes. Then she would run. In time, she learned to cover mistakes and pretend. She became very good at pretending. When she could not pretend, she ran. As time went on she made fewer mistakes. She no longer needed to run as often. Rabbit learned very fast. She could learn nearly as fast as she could run. She wanted not to have to run. She studied the outside carefully. She needed to know and she needed to learn. This she did.
The outside was difficult to live in for Rabbit. She didn’t fit. She didn’t know the ways outside. She did not know the rules outside. She did not even know the language outside. It was difficult. It was more difficult because she could not ask anyone for help. She didn’t need it. She had to do it alone. No-one knew of the warren therefore no-one knew her ways. No-one could understand. She had to learn the outside ways. She had to learn the outside rules. She had to learn the outside language. She had to do it all alone. This she did.
All that Rabbit ever wanted from life was to be left alone. She never was. In the warren, she was never left alone. Someone was always getting at her. So she had run. On the outside, it was better. Mostly, no-one got at her. That was much better. Every once in a while though, something bad would happen. It was sad. Just as she thought she was going to be left alone, someone would get her. Again and again this happened. Rabbit would always run. She would run fast. Rabbit had a strong will to escape. She had the strongest will to survive. She could always run. This she did.
Rabbit grew tired of running. She liked where she was on the outside. She wanted to stay. She didn’t fit properly, but she managed to try. She knew she would always be different but she copied and coped. She knew it would always be difficult but she hoped and survived. Sometimes she still pretended, but no-one minded. Rabbit was getting by. Rabbit was helping. She was contributing. She was nearly doing good enough. She would try to do better. This she did.
One day, Rabbit was feeling scared. She had been got at again and wanted to run. This time though, she didn’t. She was fed up with running. Instead, she stopped and thought. Why wasn’t she left alone? Who kept getting at her and hurting her? Why did they do this? She thought long and she thought hard. Suddenly, she knew. It was the warren! They had come after her. It must be them. Again and again they had got to her. They would never leave her alone. She had dared to leave. Leaving the warren was not allowed. Terrified by this thought, she thought harder. The warren was on the outside too. It was everywhere. She needed to hide. She needed to think. This she did.
As she thought, she watched and listened. She saw warren signs everywhere. The outside didn’t see them. They must be blind. She watched rabbits running and hiding everywhere. The outside never noticed. They must be stupid. She heard burrowing all around. The outside couldn’t detect the digging. They must be deaf. Then, suddenly she realised the outside didn’t know anything. They didn’t know about the warren. The warren was not safe. The outside was not safe. Rabbit needed to stay safe. There was no safety. She needed to survive. This she did.
Rabbit was afraid. She didn’t want to run anymore. There was nowhere to run. The outside was stupid. Why didn’t they see the warren? Why didn’t they defend themselves before it was too late? The warren was dangerous. Rabbit wondered how the outside didn’t know. The outside should beware the warren. She had not said, but she couldn’t say. She was afraid. The outside should be aware? Someone should warn them. Rabbit liked the outside. She didn’t want the outside to become like the warren. The outside should know about the warren. Not from her. She had to stay alive. To survive she had to stay silent. This she did.
Then Rabbit remembered she didn’t know what she didn’t know when she first came outside. She remembered all the hurting in the warren. She remembered others got hurt too. She remembered the pain and fear. She remembered the dread and she remembered the dead. She remembered she did not like the warren. She remembered why she ran. She did not like to remember. She had to survive. To stay alive, she had to remember. This she did.
The warren was on the outside and no-one was safe. Not her, nor any other. Someone had to warn outside about the warren. She lived outside now. The outside was in danger and didn’t know it. They had to know about the danger. They had to be told. They had to know about the warren. Before it was too late someone had to break silence. She looked for someone. There was no someone. Rabbit grew frantic. Someone had to tell…..
This Rabbit did!
Amongst the names provided, were some names I knew. Strangely, these were not names of people I already knew as alleged abusers, but rather, were the names of people that I knew to be supportive of survivors. Now, while I believe survivors, and believe that the most unlikely people might be involved in ritual abuse, amongst this particular batch were names of people that I did not believe to be capable of ritual abuse.
I have been thinking long and hard about this and would like to throw in a note of caution regarding survivors naming their abusers. Firstly, abusers in groups rarely let survivors know their names. Think about it! Dressed up scary person about to abuse child stops and says, ‘Incidentely, my name is Joe Bloggs, I work in social work…’ I don’t think so! The names that survivors know for certain are their own family names; survivors of ritual abuse seldom know the real names of all people involved.
Secondly, there are a lot of people who are taking on ritual abuse in a serious way, yet, survivors are uncertain about who they can trust. This is particularly the case if the survivor is considering talking to someone in police, social services or health. When we find people in these agencies who take on ritual abuse, it can be quite easy to discredit them. All it needs is someone to drop a name, someone to believe it and then repeat it. Survivors are then afraid and steered away from a person who may have been able to help them. What finer way to isolate survivors and discredit supporters than to spread a rumour that a supporter might be ‘one of them’.
Names bandied about coupled with rumour and innuendo. What can I say? It’s a great way to undermine supporters and survivors and a tactic, which I believe abusers are employing in Scotland to great effect. Supporters need to be cautious that they do not do the abusers work for them. Be careful, what you end up spreading in the way of a rumour.
I believe survivors, and believe that they believe what they are telling me, however, I do not swallow everything wholesale. If I am told a name of someone I know, I note it and approach that person and tell them there is a rumour about them and what it is. Why not? If the person is on the side of survivors, are they not better equipped to help if they know what the opposition is doing? Equally, if the person is a baddy, they know that someone is on to them. Obviously, I always safeguard the confidentiality of survivors.
Let’s not fall into the trap of rumour, innuendo and fear of talking to others. Rather, l would suggest that we be open, share what reliable information we can with each other and let the abusers know that we are onto them. Secrecy and silence protects only the abusers, not the survivors.