Torture Survivor Rehabilitation Center Urges Swift Approval of Syrian Humanitarian Resolution of 2014
St. Paul, MN & Washington, DC – The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) today urged the United States Senate to swiftly approve the Syrian Humanitarian Resolution of 2014, a bipartisan resolution introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“The Syrian conflict is now entering its fourth year and the magnitude of violence is almost impossible to comprehend,” said Annie Sovick, director of CVT’s Washington office. “Since 2008, CVT has been providing mental health rehabilitation care to Iraqi refugees in Jordan. In the past year, we have expanded our work to provide care to Syrian survivors of torture and war atrocities.
“Among the millions of Syrian refugees are highly-traumatized survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. Men, women, and children have been imprisoned, tortured, shot at, and raped. Some have witnessed the massacre of entire families and the destruction of homes and neighborhoods.
“The number of Syrian refugees in need of humanitarian assistance, including mental health and psychosocial support, is rapidly rising and their needs far exceed the capacity of CVT and other humanitarian aid providers in the region. Daily, refugees are arriving at CVT’s offices in Jordan seeking mental health and psychosocial care for themselves, their children, and other family members.
“As the violent conflict in Syria intensifies, the necessity to address the refugees’ psychological distress becomes increasingly more urgent.
“Children are especially vulnerable in this conflict. Half of the approximately 3 million refugees from Syria are children and more than 11,000 have been killed. Thousands more have suffered from serious injuries. Five million children are in desperate need of basic necessities, such as food, shelter, medical care, and counseling and psychosocial support.
“The impact of torture and war on children can lead to deep psychological and emotional pain. Symptoms of depression and crippling anxiety may occur. The traumatic experiences they endure, such as having family members killed or being separated from their families, can have long-term impacts on their development and well-being.
“The Syrian Humanitarian Resolution of 2014 calls on the international community to increase investments in programs to assist children, including counseling and psychosocial support. By increasing and improving access to specialized mental health care, they will have the chance to rebuild their lives.
"We commend Senators Kaine and Rubio for bringing the Syrian Humanitarian Resolution of 2014 before the Senate. We urge their colleagues to join them in support of the resolution and to bring it to a vote as soon as possible. The Senate’s swift passage of the Syrian Humanitarian Resolution of 2014 will send a strong bipartisan message to the world that the United States stands with the Syrian people struggling to survive during this horrific humanitarian crisis.”
The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit headquartered in St. Paul, MN with an office in Washington, D.C. and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.cvt.org.
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