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

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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.
Marie Soueid is a Legal Fellow in CVT’s Washington, DC office. She graduated from the American University Washington College of Law and was a recipient of its 2014 Human Rights Brief Award.

Paul Orieny, Ph.D., LMFT is a clinical advisor with CVT.

 

Earlier in the summer, I visited our Nairobi project to check in on our clinical work.  One day, I joined a men’s counseling group for their second session. It’s a group of gentlemen – from teenagers to 70-year-olds and all ranges of profession. These men are Rwandese, Burundi and Congolese, and it’s amazing how they have come together.

Refuge: Caring for Survivors of Torture is an insightful one-hour documentary about the experiences of torture survivors and those who provide care to them. It highlights the need for appropriate, sensitive care for all survivors who seek refuge in the United States. Interviews with a number of survivors as well as professionals working at torture rehabilitation centers – including CVT – humanize and demystify the process of healing after extreme violence.Producer/director Ben Achtenberg spoke to us about his film. Ben is the owner and project director of the Refuge Media Project, in Boston, Massachusetts.

This month, psychotherapists from 24 torture survivor rehabilitation organizations in the United States gathered in St. Louis for a two-and-a-half day advanced clinical training on complex trauma in torture survivors. Each year, CVT’s National Capacity Building Project holds an institute for professionals to come together to focus in-depth with their colleagues across the country on a particular aspect of torture survivor rehabilitation.

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Healing

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

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Training

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

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Advocacy

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

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