Logo for the Center for Victims of Torture

2023 Year in Review

It was an incredible year at CVT, with work we are very proud of amid often dangerous and difficult conditions. This is just a small snapshot of what we accomplished this year.

Medhanye Alem, our Psychotherapist and Trainer in Ethiopia, shares his story of providing care to clients and community members in the midst of his own trauma and imminent threat.

The “222”

Emergency Response for Torture Survivors

In February, the US State Department made an urgent request to CVT – help more that 200 Nicaraguan political prisoners and torture survivors after they were released from squalid prisons, stripped of their citizenship, and flown to the U.S. Image shows Nicaraguan scholar Felix Madariaga and family outside the Westin Hotel in Herndon, Virginia, on February 9, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images

How CVT Helped

“The 222″ ranged in age from 18 to 80 and were unjustly imprisoned in Nicaragua for being political leaders, journalists, students, and human rights activists.

CVT met their plane and provided immediate psychological first aid and connected them to critically needed resources. Then, as they moved out to their next locations, we began destination case management – following wherever they are on their journey to help.

Trauma and War in Ukraine

In August, a team of CVT leaders traveled to Kiev, Ukraine to meet with the Prosecutor General charged with investigating and prosecuting Russian war crimes. There we learned that the tireless prosecutors working these cases are facing trauma and burnout due to the nature of the work. To keep the wheels of justice moving, the Office of the Prosecutor General has turned to CVT to develop a program to support and train the staff on how to remain resilient and deal with the effects of secondary trauma.

Healing Care

In 2023, CVT launched two programs in Minnesota and Georgia to provide mental health and social support to recently arrived refugees from Afghanistan.


Raahat Project

CVT’s Raahat team is made up of caring therapists who understand the challenges that immigrants and refugees, including Afghans in the United States, may face. Our therapists can assist clients in dealing with issues like difficulties with sleeping, fear, everyday stress and more. The clinical team chose the name “Raahat” because it means “comfort” or “ease” in Dari, Farsi and Pashto, the primary languages spoken by the Afghan community we serve in Minnesota. The name Raahat conveys the essence of emotional well-being, tranquility and relief – all essential mental health components.


Arman Project

Adapting to a new society can be challenging. Through our case management services, we work closely with clients to provide essential support in areas such as housing, employment, access to education and social services. By addressing these practical needs, we empower clients to build a foundation for a more secure and self-reliant future. The clinical team chose the name “Arman” because it means “hope” in Dari and Pashto, the two primary languages spoken by the Afghan community we serve in Georgia.
Diana’s Story – a family at Proyecto Mariposa