A Child Called "It" Questions and Answers
by Dave Pelzer

A Child Called "It" book cover
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How many types of abuse did Dave suffer from?

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In what is referred to as one of the worst cases of child abuse in California history, David Pelzer's mother abused him in numerous ways.

Physical Abuse

David's mother abuses him in numerous ways, but things really begin to pick up in intensity when she holds his arm over the stove:

“You’ve made my life a living hell!” she sneered. “Now it’s time I showed you what hell is like!” Gripping my arm, Mother held it in the orangeblue flame. My skin seemed to explode from the heat. I could smell the scorched hairs from my burnt arm. As hard as I fought, I could not force Mother to let go of my arm...Mother then ordered me to climb up onto the stove and lie on the flames so she could watch me burn. I refused, crying and pleading. I felt so scared I stomped my feet in protest. But Mother continued to force me on top of the stove. I watched the flames, praying the gas might run out. Suddenly I began to realize the longer I could keep myself off the top of the stove, the better my...

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