He said this in relation to a study on the effects of physical torture -Vs- the effects of psychological abuse that was launched in an effort to more clearly define what "torture" is. This is being done in order to not induce long-lasting adverse mental effects on prisoners.
I know from being in an abusive marriage that living with an abuser, even one who abuses predominently psychologically, is inflicting torture on his or her spouse. Living with a spouse abuser is like living in a concentration camp.
I came upon this realization while reading Corrie Ten Boom's book "The Hiding Place" in which she relates her experience in the death camp Ravensbruck. I related to so many of her experiences there, only the things I was relating to were taking place in the, so called, sanctuary of my own home, and my torturer was the man I was married to (no exaggeration here).
The battered/abused spouse is being subjected to "torture."