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Healing and Human Rights: A Blog by the Center for Victims of Torture

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Jenni Bowring-McDonough, CVT media relations manager, comments on the critical and growing need for mental health and psychosocial support services in response to the ongoing refugee crisis.

Judy Twala

Judith Twala, MA, is a psychotherapist/trainer with the Center for Victims of Torture in Dadaab, Kenya. Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee camp in the northeast region of Kenya, close to the Somali border. Most refugees in this complex of camps are from Somalia with others from South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries.

 

As a psychotherapist /trainer with the CVT Dadaab project, I have been interacting with war and torture survivors from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan and Somalia for more than two years. Though from different mother countries, these survivors share one thing in common and that is ambiguous loss.

Marie Soueid, CVT legal fellow in the Washington, D.C. office, comments on recent event featuring photographic documentation of torture in Syria.

Curt Goering, CVT executive director, recalls the devastation in Bosnia twenty years ago, and notes the progress that has been made for healing and rebuilding.

Zarqa Family_mother and son
In honor of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, we’re sharing this article that was originally published in our Storycloth newsletter in November 2014. Increasingly, our staff in Jordan is seeing children and young people who need mental health and physical therapy care to cope with their traumatic experiences. Now, more than a third of our clients in Jordan are under the age of 18. To help heal these young survivors, the counseling and physical therapy staff developed ten-week joint physical therapy/counseling groups that provide age-appropriate activities.

At the Center for Victims of Torture, we are horrified to hear of the attack on Garissa University College in Kenya today. The loss of innocent lives is absolutely devastating. Under these dreadful circumstances, we feel fortunate to report that all CVT employees are safe. Residents of Garissa are family, neighbors, friends and colleagues, and our hearts are with them in their suffering and grief.

This coming Sunday, March 8, is International Women’s Day – a day to mark the global economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. This year’s theme – Make It Happen – is particularly fitting for one of our partners in the Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) project -- Vive Žene.
A new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that six in ten Americans say U.S. spending to improve health in developing countries is helpful in improving the U.S. image abroad.
It is truly unfortunate that some of the areas where Ebola has been most rampant are the areas that were most affected by war and violence. Fortunately, many Sierra Leoneans and Liberians, including CAPS and LAPS, are responding to the crisis with commitment, compassion and energy.

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We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

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We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

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We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

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