Survivors alleging satanic ritual abuse (SRA) and their advocates are continuing a decades-long fight to advance their cases as media companies push a narrative that the type of abuse they allege is largely the creation of a social panic.
Last month, the South by Southwest film festival screened “Satan Wants You,” which “tells the untold story of how the Satanic Panic of the 1980s was ignited,” according to the festival’s website. Echoing years of skeptical news coverage, the description adds that “satanic rumors spread through panic-stricken communities across the world, leaving a wave of destruction and wrongful convictions in their wake.” Other “satanic panic” warnings can be found in recent coverage of cases in Scotland and Utah while the backlash against Sam Smith’s Grammys performance has prompted similar caution.
But for advocates like Cindy Metcalf, the “Satanic Panic” narrative is false and degrades the stories she encounters on a regular basis. In March, Metcalf’s newly formed group Relentless Hope held a meeting in the Salt Lake area for survivors to discuss potential legal options for pursuing allegations involving the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS).