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Child Abuse Negl. 1997 Jun;21(6):541-56.

Effects of ritual abuse: the results of three surveys in The Netherlands.



We decided to document the behavior of 87 children involved in multiple victim/multiple perpetrator sexual abuse by developing and administering surveys to families. Data gathered at 2 1/2 years (1990) and 7 years (1994) after the disclosures indicated the behavioral status of the children at different developmental stages. This data was compared to clinical information available prior to the abuse, and initial survey data rendered at 6 weeks after disclosure (Jonker & Jonker-Bakker, 1991). The objective was to document the behavior of the victims during the healing process.


A questionnaire was sent to the parents of 87 children who were abused in 1987. The parents returned the completed questionnaire, and were interviewed in our clinic.


Data from the 1990 and 1994 surveys indicate that 39% of the children involved, who lived in supportive family environments, had changed as a result of the abuse. They exhibited behavior within acceptable, normal guidelines for childhood development. In 1994, 7% of the children involved showed signs of more severe behavioral disorders.


The findings indicate that physical and behavioral signs apparent in the 1990 and 1994 surveys were not recognized at the time the abuse occurred. Many of the children exhibit normal, acceptable behavior at the time of the most recent survey (1994).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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