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

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Alison Beckman
Asylum and refugee officers are making decisions that can have serious consequences. My job is to help them understand what torture survivors have experienced so that they, in turn, can be sensitive to interviewing torture survivors while making wise and informed decisions.
Many may not be ready to tell their story in front of a truth commission or international tribunal—some may never be ready. They may not even be ready to tell their story confidentially to a clinician to begin the process of healing. But if and when they are ready, the choice should be their own. The international community, governments and non-governmental organizations alike, should be there to offer support and expertise. The truth that must emerge must be the survivor’s own.
Annie Sovcik
Since 2011, an estimated 200,000 Syrians have been killed and over 11 million have been displaced. As CVT supports the #WithSyria campaign to turn the lights back on for Syria, we also support efforts to shine a greater light on the abuses and atrocities that have been committed by all sides of the conflict, including the Assad regime, and bring perpetrators to justice.
When I think of International Women’s Day, I think of the women we see every day here at the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) in our treatment programs in the U.S., Jordan, Kenya, Ethiopia, and soon, Uganda. Around the world, the numbers of refugees and displaced people are growing, and many of the women we serve at CVT are refugees.
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.
“Your help to me is mandatory because if you do not help me I will die.” Those were the first words from Oba, a young Congolese man who joined one of our counseling groups.
CVT is among a coalition of civil liberties, human rights, national security, and religious organizations opposing legislation that would ban detainee transfers out of the Guantanamo detention facility.
The UN Security Council holds a meeting on the “Protection of civilians in armed conflict.”
A new poll finds 69 percent of Americans agree that "torture is immoral."
The World Economic Forum's 2015 Global Risks report finds that the biggest threat to the stability of the world in the next ten years arises from the risk of international conflict.

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Healing

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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