Argos: Behind the story

Sanne Terlingen about ritual abuse

How do you investigate a story you don't want to believe? In 'Behind the story', Sanne Terlingen shares her experiences with her year long investigation into ritual abuse.

By Lotte van Rosmalen and Niels van Nimwegen

This interview is part of our bigger dossier on organised sexual abuse. Over the last year, Argos collected the experiences and stories of over two hundred victims of sexual abuse. A hundred and forty victims told us about ritual abuse.

about the journalists

Sanne Terlingen and Huub Jaspers

Sanne Terlingen has been working as an investigative journalist at Argos since 2016. Prior to this, she worked at Oneworld and wrote as a freelancer for the Dutch newspaper NRC, Hard Gras, Internationale Samenwerking and De Groene Amsterdammer. Sanne focuses on themes like human trafficking, sexual abuse and trauma and has won several prizes for her work. This year, her investigation into the ways young Vietnamese asylum seekers disappeared from centres was nominated for the prestigious Dutch journalism prize 'De Tegel'. Sanne is an Ochberg Fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.

Huub Jaspers has vast experience as an investigative journalist at Argos. He joined Argos in 1996 and is specialises in military and security issues. For more than two decases he investigated how and why Srebrenica had to fall and looked into the Dutch millitary operations in Afghanistan. Just like Sanne, Huub has won several journalistic prizes. Together, they started their investigation into the stories of ritual abuse in 2018.