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Intrafamilial Child Torture

Intrafamilial Child Torture (ICT) is a particularly severe form of child maltreatment with unique family dynamics and devastating outcomes for child victims. The dynamics and outcomes of torture for children in their families are comparable to other forms of child torture in non familial contexts.


No separate diagnostic category exists for ICT. It is not widely recognized or understood by child maltreatment professionals, and there is little research data to help professionals fully understand it or know how to respond. We expect that ICT cases are often misdiagnosed or remain unidentified. We also contend that professional responses to other forms of child maltreatment may not be effective for ICT and may leave tortured children at extreme risk of serious harm.


In our work, we propose a working definition of ICT to raise professional awareness of the condition and to promote adoption of ICT as a category of child maltreatment. We also describe the most effective and specialized treatment interventions for children who have experienced extreme early trauma, including child victims of ICT. 


Resources include case studies of child survivors to illustrate family dynamics, severity, outcomes for child victims, and legal issues.

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RICK GLASS, Executive Director of Perry County Children's Services, et al.  

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AMANDA BRANDT, Plaintiff-Appellant


ROY POMPA, Defendant-Appellee

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This 90-minute training webinar provides an intermediate level introduction to an emerging category of child maltreatment - Intrafamilial Child Torture.

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This two-hour webinar discusses the devastating impact of torture by one's parents during childhood, and the types of protective, caretaking, and therapeutic interventions that can help child survivors.

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Pamela Miller, JD, MSW, LISW-S

Deputy Director, Center for Child Policy

Senior Policy and Law Analyst, Center for Child Policy

Expert Witness and Consultant

Judith S. Rycus, PhD, MSW

Program Director, Center for Child Policy

Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Child Policy

Program Director, Institute for Human Services

Ronald C. Hughes, PhD, MSSA

Executive Director, Center for Child Policy

Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Child Policy

Executive Director, Institute for Human Services

Victor Vieth, JD, JA

Chief Program Officer, Education and Research, Zero Abuse Project 

Nicole Adams, MA

Program Manager, Child Protective Services Intake

Douglas County Department of Human Services

Susana Flores, MS

Executive Director/Forensic Interview Specialist,

The Children’s Advocacy Center, Covina, California

Cherilyn R. Haworth, MSW, LCSW

Title IV-E Project Coordinator and Lecturer Department of Social Work, California State University, Bakersfield

Jessica M. Large, MA, EdS, LPC, ACS

Coordinator of Outpatient Services,

Center for Evaluation and Counseling, Inc.

Lucien X. Lombardo, PhD

Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice,

Old Dominion University

Jason Lundquist, MCJ

Crimes Against Children Unit Supervisor,

Police Department, City of Waco, TX

Ann Ratnayake Macy, JD, BBA

Founder/Executive Director,

National Center for Child Abuse Statistics and Policy

Felicia Marsh, MA, LPC, CSAT

Board-Certified Sexual Abuse Trauma Expert/AAETS

Owner, Lighthouse Counseling and Psychotherapy PLLC

Suzanne Starling, MD

Medical Director, Chadwick Center for Children and Families, Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego

Suzanna L. Tiapula, JD

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney,

Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, County of Hawaii

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