A torso shield is a special type of padding that prisoners wear during judicial and prison corporal punishment (in the form of caning) in Malaysia. The torso shield covers the prisoner's lower back and upper thighs, helping to protect the kidney and genital areas from accidental hits, while leaving the prisoner's bared buttocks exposed for punishment. The torso shield is usually strapped onto the prisoner after he is tied to the A-frame.
This torso shield is used only in Malaysia. However, some pictures from Malaysia also show special padding fastened on the prisoner's lower back and upper thighs, in place of the torso shield, as in these pictures: . This is probably an earlier arrangement from before the torso shield was invented.
In Singapore and Brunei, where judicial caning is also widespread, the torso shield is not used because the prisoner's feet are kept together so the back of the genitals are already covered by the back of the thighs. Instead, in Singapore, protective padding is tied around the prisoner's lower back as he bends over the caning trestle.
The effects of caning in Malaysia and Singapore are slightly different but both are equally severe and will usually draw blood and leave permanent scars. The wounds from a Malaysian caning are more concentrated around the middle of the buttocks because the sides and the hips are covered by the torso shield. In Singapore, however, 'wrapping' frequently occurs, as the cane is very flexible and usually 'wraps' around and hits the side of the right buttock near the hip area, which is not protected by any padding. Compare these pictures from Singapore (, ) with these from Malaysia (, , ).
Some spankophiles have also designed their own torso shields (or whatever they call them) for similar purposes: to "frame up" the buttocks for a spanking and protect the surrounding areas. This adds on to the ritualistic aspect of the punishment.
- Picture of the Malaysian torso shield and caning frame, from World Corporal Punishment Research
- Picture of a prisoner prepared for caning in Malaysia, from the same site
- More pictures from Pudu Prison, from the same site
- Caning shield constructed by Eric Carwardine
- Caning shield mounted on a spankee, also from Eric Carwardine's website
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