IPT Book Reviews

Title: Don't Make Me Go Back, Mommy: A Child's Book About Satanic Ritual Abuse  Negative Review
Author: Doris Sanford
Publisher: Multnomah Press 1990

Multnomah Press
10209 5. E. Division
Portland, Oregon 97266
(503) 257-0526
$7.99
  

Description:

This children's book was written by a woman who is reportedly a psychiatric nurse instructor and part-time consultant for Child Protective Services who screens and interviews children for potential abuse.  The author states that "the words of the text and the objects and situations illustrated are based on months of intensive research into the nature and practice of satanic ritual abuse.  Any child who has been ritually abused will recognize the validity of this story and will be able to relate to most of the scenes portrayed."  The author apparently uses this book as a tool for interviewing children who are suspected of being ritually abused, and this is the purpose for which the book is recommended.

The book contains a frightening scene of ritual activities, including hooded figures, children in a ritual circle, and a noose hanging from a tree.  The abused child is said to have nightmares and is shown pretending to be dead.  The parents reassure her that she is not bad, the day care people were bad, and that someday she will be able to tell her parents about what happened.

At the end of the book are suggestions for parents.
  

Discussion:

In essence, the book is serving many of the same functions as some of the preventive education programs that have been in vogue for teaching children about child molestation.  Like them, it may raise the number of children who allegedly complain about being abused, and no one knows how many of such complaints may be invalid.  The book is beautifully illustrated in full color by Graci Evans, and reportedly there are symbols buried in the book that only victims would recognize.  There is, nevertheless, a lot of information both in verbal and pictorial form that could potentially make it difficult for someone to sort out what really happened to a child who is subsequently interviewed for abuse.  This is a dangerous book because real victims and non-victims alike will be confused.  In addition, the book is likely to be extremely frightening to a young child, particularly if it is read to the child by a parent who is hypersensitive to the possibility of sexual abuse.

Reviewed by Martha L. Rogers, Tustin, California.

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