CVT Partners with IREX to Support Journalists

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Center for Victims of Torture is pleased to announce a new partnership with IREX, an international nonprofit that promotes lasting change globally by enabling local individuals and institutions to build key elements of a vibrant society: quality education, independent media and strong communities.

CVT will partner with IREX’s S.A.F.E. Initiative.  Journalists in conflict and post-conflict environments around the world face increasing pressure to leave the front lines and stay away from those subjects that question the status quo. They need not only personal protection training, but the skills to keep themselves mentally healthy to continue doing their work.

“When we do psychotherapy with torture survivors we confront some of humanity’s most conscious, personal brutality – the kind of brutality that the vast majority chooses not to see, because truly seeing is too painful,” said Craig Higson-Smith, monitoring and evaluation advisor at CVT. “Over the decades CVT has developed deep experience doing this work in a way that avoids damage and promotes growth. We wish to share this experience with human rights defenders and journalists whose work takes them into the darkest aspects of society.”

Staff from CVT will partner with IREX to contribute to training curricula at the S.A.F.E. regional training centers, focusing on the localized needs of journalists.  In addition, CVT will help to further strengthen the local assistance communication systems and protocols that IREX is piloting. “We look forward to this collaboration” notes Oktavia Jȯnsdȯttir, Program Director of the S.A.F.E. Initiative, “because it lies at the heart of what SAFE is about: integrating digital, physical and psycho-social care into our training.”

The S.A.F.E. Initiative combines training in digital security, physical safety and psychosocial care for journalists at risk by establishing three regional security resource centers in El Salvador, Georgia, and Kenya. This pilot project is funded by the US Department of State, Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

Media Contact

Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Manager
+1 612-436-4886 (office) or +1 651-226-3858 (mobile)
Journalists:  If you’d like to receive CVT press releases, please email your request to Jenni Bowring-McDonough at jbowring [at]




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