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Trauma Healing Initiative – Cambodia

Last updated: March 21, 2024

CVT Past Project

In 1975 Khmer Rouge rebels overthrew the Cambodian government and began a reign of terror. In only four years, approximately one-fifth of the country’s population died from execution, disease, starvation and overwork.

Today, survivors still suffer, and the country continues to endure extreme violence, including sex trafficking, torture in prison, rape and domestic violence.

In a project that ended in 2011, through the Trauma Healing Initiative—Cambodia, we partnered with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) of Cambodia to increase resources for survivors and their families and to build a network of torture and trauma rehabilitation services throughout the country. This initiative built a formal network of health and mental health providers which is now able to expand and improve their services to survivors.

Some of our accomplishments include:

  • The creation of a network of private and government health and social service organizations that provide care for torture and traumatic violence survivors.
  • In depth trauma-focused mental health training for a core group of health, mental health and social services providers to improve the quality of counseling services for survivors. This group was enlisted to strengthen a larger network of resources for torture and trauma survivors in Cambodia.
  • Development of training tools in Khmer and English for Cambodia’s health and human services professionals. The tools will help professionals recognize trauma symptoms and provide sensitive and effective healing services. Using an electronic format, the tools can be reproduced at little or no cost using USB drives.

THI-Cambodia was made possible with the support of the McKnight Foundation, the U.S. Institute for Peace and the United States Agency for International Development and the American people’s support.