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What is Child Torture?

Child torture is a medical subcategory of child abuse including unique clinical features which require specific child assessment, diagnostic, and treatment approaches. [1]


Child Protection Professionals Must Identify  Child Torture Cases

Child torture includes a combination of two or more of the cruel and inhuman treatments for protracted periods of time, such as:

  • intentionally starving the child,

  • binding or restraining the child,

  • repeatedly physically  or sexually abusing the child, 

  • exposing the child to extreme temperatures without adequate clothing,

  • locking the child in closets or other small spaces,

  • forcing the child to eat excrement, or have sexual contact with animals,  or

  • forcing the child into stress positions,  or other regimens intended to break the child's will 

resulting in prolonged suffering permanent disfigurement/dysfunction, or death. [2]

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jack lowisel.JPG

Jack Loiselle,



10-year-old girl,

New York


The Kalama Foster Children,




The James Children,



Seven-year-old boy,


 Child abuse is a significant problem in the United States. In fiscal year 2016 (the latest year for which there is national data), 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico substantiated 676,000 children as victims of child abuse and neglect. 


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that for the same year at least 1,750 children died from child abuse and neglect. 


Currently,  the U.S. government does not separately identify child torture cases in child fatalities and abuse statistics. As of 2018, the most comprehensive database can be found through the Coalition for Responsible Home Education's 'Homeschooling's Invisible Children' website.


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