Logo for the Center for Victims of Torture

Torture is Illegal

—- But it happens —-

Torture is prohibited under international and U.S. law without exception. Yet, at the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), we extend rehabilitative care to thousands of refugees and asylum seekers who have survived torture in their home countries.

No one is immune from torture. We work with survivors from countries around the world, from every profession, every type of education, every background. Survivors tell us they were taken and tortured because they were activists, journalists, medical professionals, students, and many more. Rebuilding a life after torture is not easy, but survivors make that journey every day.

Healing is possible, and we see it every day.

The Center for Victims of Torture has extended care to more than 46,000 survivors of torture. Just last year, we cared for more than 11,400 survivors and their family members.

Last year, we worked to rebuild the lives and hope of more than eleven thousand survivors and family members.
Since we opened, we’ve extended direct care to tens of thousands of torture survivors.
Last year, clients came from more than 50 different countries of origin.

You likely share an identity with a survivor of torture.

Teachers and students, nurses and doctors, attorneys, farmers, activists, daughters, sons, parents: CVT has worked with people from every walk of life after they survived torture.

Client Improvement


Hamid worked at a church in Iraq before he and his family were threatened, harassed and ultimately forced to move. Our programming and clients in Jordan led him to find his own definition and sources of hope and healing.

“For those who’ve also gone through difficult times, I hope they know they can get help by coming. You’re still a human being. Have love.” -Former client, CVT Uganda

Every survivor who comes to the Center for Victims of Torture has a story.

Survivors tell us they were targeted for their political opinions, their religion, their ethnicity, their relationship to another targeted person, and often for no reason at all.

Client Improvement


Manal was a nurse in a government-run hospital in Damascus, Syria. Her professional integrity was tested when government officials and other medical personnel would not let her care for wounded members of the opposition. When she quit in protest, she was thrown in prison. Manal came to Amman and found care at CVT Jordan. She shared her story because she refused to be silenced by her torturers.

“CVT restored my life.” -Former client, CVT Jordan

Torture is illegal, but at CVT, we believe healing is possible.

Stories like those we hear from survivors are more common than you may think. People don’t expect to be tortured, but around the world conflict and oppression are common and foster conditions that lead to torture. In fact, in 2022 we extended care to survivors who were tortured in more than 50 countries.

Client Improvement


Youssef was a journalist in Basra, Iraq, working for government and private newspapers. When a list of 50 journalists to be targeted was published, his name was toward the bottom. When the first journalist on the list was killed, Youssef fled to Syria. He finally fled to Amman and found healing at CVT Jordan.

“CVT made me realize you as a person are important.” -Former client, CVT Uganda