Note: Please exercise additional self-care when reading this page as there may be extraordinarily triggering material for folks who have experienced RA or SRA here. Keep in mind, you may not be aware that you have this type of programming. A mental protector should be on-hand or be the one reading this information first to make sure it's safe for your internal system.
There's 3 things here, repetitive abuse, religious abuse, and ritual abuse. RA usually refers to Ritual Abuse but can confusingly be used for Religious or Repetitive as well.
Some abusers set up deliberate patterns, or ritualize abuse in itself. It may have the trappings of a religious or spiritual ceremony, and sometimes the symbolism used can be negative and frightening in itself. Any of the points in the ritual become part of the triggers: clothing, dates, idols, words, smells, tools, movements, music, etc. Everything involved gets magnified and becomes a warning that someone is about to hurt you and sets off the autonomic nervous system with a fight or flight response.
Both incidental and deliberate ritual abuse can cause entrenched patterns that are more problematic when trying to heal. They are very ingrained, entrenched patterns, and where to start unraveling the knot isn't clear.
Self-help note: Carefully exploring a trigger and NOT having it followed by abuse and pain can help cause "extinction" of the trigger. However, the triggers are very likely to come back full force on short notice should the scenario(s) happen again, so this is often difficult. If you find yourself trying to deprogram triggers caused by ritual abuse, the extinction scenarios should be managed very slowly and carefully to avoid re-triggering the responses and reinforcing the associated triggers.
Trigger Warning: SRA — A Step Further
SRA is short for "Satanic Ritual Abuse" — which blends RA with specific symbolism and activities that may involve specific dates and "unholy" festivities, sacrifice, blood, sex, and pedophilia in an RA context combined with cult tactics. Victims are made to perform and participate in these activities through coercion, use of drugs, threats, mind control programming, etc. Some victims have been raised in the group as very young children (direct indoctrination). Some groups have used mind control tactics to create alters on purpose in their victims, using these tactics to create hidden allies and subsystems in the victim's internal system (sometimes called "dark side alters"), and planted deep suggestions to be enacted later ("programming").
There are other potential mind control groups that could be acting on their own, or who could be using these powerful images and ideas to cover their own activities. Some are thought to be underground former or hidden government agencies invested in creating sleeper agents or learning ways to exert mind control tactics on victims. Some say they are creating the SRA imagery to cover their tracks as part of their experiment, some say these are two separate phenomenon (still with the potential for mind control agencies to use SRA "ideas" and imagery to mask their activities).
Trigger Warning: Victims and Cautions
RA & SRA victims generally require additional protections from their past abusers and from their triggers. Getting triggered can execute mind control programming (deliberately implanted "scripts") which may cause them to want to return to their abusers, may switch which subsystems have control, may cause them to become very suicidal, etc. It's impolite to mention the non-acronym for SRA (we did so here because there's so much confusion about it) and related imagery or even Christian symbology can create backlash in their system.
When SRA/RA victims point out their triggers, do your best not to trigger them as it can cause a cascade of symptoms they are unprepared to handle.
If you happen to accidentally trigger an RA system, try not to feel guilty or responsible. Remember it's the awful people who did this who are to blame, but do try to be mindful and correct your "mistakes" so that it doesn't happen again if at all possible. We all feel bad when we trigger someone. It's just worse if we do it again over the same thing!