What is NST?

NST and the Law


Evaluating Law

When NST is not specifically and distinctly identified as a crime, there is no criminal data available to collect, therefore statistically, the crime of NST does not exist, and the women and girls, or other citizens, who have survived NST victimization are invisibilized.

Specific and distinct NST laws are necessary to ensure that persons who suffered NST have their legal rights upheld, to prevent a culture of impunity for the perpetrators, to insure informed police investigations and protection and to educate professionals and the community that NST exists.

The Patriarchal Divide

There is a patriarchal divide creating discrimination between persons who endure State torture and those who endure non-State torture. The ordeals of torture are the same, but socially, and legally the violent acts are treated differently.

Socio-legal Patriarchal Divide Torture


According to the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT), when States parties know that acts of torture are being committed by non-State actors and fail in their due diligence responsibilities of prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of such torturers the State should be considered as acquiescing in such impermissible acts under the CAT.

We call on all States to uphold the human and legal rights of children, women and men not to be subjected to torture by non-State actors or private individuals/groups, by specifically naming and criminalizing non-State torture or addressing any legal gap that presently exists regarding non-State torture victimization.

Women tell us repeatedly that they want their non-State torture named as a specific criminal offence as it would provide them with legal credibility to truth-tell and when named it will be understood, thus their statements would carry legal reliability.