Malignant Trauma and the Invisibility of Ritual Abuse

Abstract
This presentation draws on psychoanalytic theories of malignant trauma to explain the invisibility of ritual abuse. Ritual abuse refers to the misuse of rituals in the organised sexual abuse of children. Despite expanded recognition of the varieties of child maltreatment, ritual abuse remains largely invisible outside the trauma and dissociation field as a specific form of sexual exploitation. Presenting qualitative data from interview research with ritual abuse survivors and mental health specialists, this presentation argues that the trauma of ritual abuse and its invisibility are co-constitutive. The perpetration and denial of ritual abuse occur within a relational matrix of perpetrators, victims, and bystanders structured by the presymbolic dread of vulnerability and dependency. The simultaneity of perpetration and disavowal creates the conditions for the malignancy of ritual abuse, including the invisibility of victims and the intergenerational transmission of extreme abuse. The presentation examines how the provision of care to ritual abuse survivors can become contingent on its erasure, and reflects on the role of therapists and others in interrupting the metastases of malignant trauma and crafting cultural and moral frameworks to transform the dread at the core of ritual abuse.

This session was originally presented as a live webinar in October 2019.

Target Audience

Intermediate

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Identify the underlying psychological mechanisms for the intergenerational transmission of sexual violence
  • Critically assess social responses to ritual abuse through object relations theory
  • Develop new insights into the treatment of ritual abuse within service systems that may not recognise ritual abuse as a specific form of sexual exploitation
     
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 APA
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • 1.00 ASWB ACE
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.00 continuing education credits.
  • 1.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
Course opens: 
12/31/2019
Course expires: 
12/31/2050
ISSTD Member cost:
$35.00
Your Price:
$55.00
Rating: 
0

Presenter: Michael Salter
Presenter Bio: Dr Michael Salter is a Scientia Fellow and Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of New South Wales. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1) from the University of Melbourne and a PhD in public health from the University of New South Wales. His research is focused on child abuse and gendered violence, including primary prevention, complex trauma and technologically-facilitated abuse. He is the author of two books, Organised Sexual Abuse (Routledge, 2013) and Crime, Justice and Social Media (Routledge, 2017), and a range of papers on child abuse and gendered violence. A/Prof Salter sits on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, who awarded him the 2018 Morton Prince Award for Scientific Achievement. He is an Associate Editor of the journal Child Abuse Review and expert advisor to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. Current projects include a study of parental involvement in the manufacture of child sexual abuse material funded by the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, and a study of multi-sectorial responses to women with complex trauma funded by Australia’s National Research Office for Women’s Safety.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 APA
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • 1.00 ASWB ACE
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.00 continuing education credits.
  • 1.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.

Price

ISSTD Member cost:
$35.00
Your Price:
$55.00
Please login or register to take this course.

"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level. 

  • ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation. 
  • ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired. 

These prices are for Tier I countries. For a list of countries by Tier click here. If you are located in a country that falls into Tier II-VI please contact ISSTD at cfas@isst-d.org to receive the appropriate discount code.