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

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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.
CVT Research Associate, Jennifer Esala, Ph.D, answers key questions on monitoring and evaluation and how it supports program development.
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.
For survivors, their bodies often become perceived as the enemy because of the pain. By reducing the pain, we’re helping people become more comfortable in their bodies again. We also know that as pain levels go down, emotions become more positive which promotes better relationships and more meaningful lives.
On January 18, 1985, Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich named a 25-member task force to examine the feasibility of a Minnesota center for victims of torture.

Today is Tom Sengupta Day in Minneapolis, and we want to share our best wishes and thanks to him. As owner of Schneider’s Drugs, he has filled prescriptions for countless survivors in Minnesota.

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.
Next week, the United States will make its presentation before the UN Committee against Torture in Geneva, which reviews States Parties’ compliance with their obligations under the Convention against Torture.

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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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