News & Events
Welcome to the News & Events page, a resource for journalists and others seeking information and updates on what’s new at CVT.
Journalists: CVT has several experts who can speak on a broad range of issues related to CVT’s work, including cross-cultural care, sustainable healing after war, and evaluation and psychotherapy to survivors of politically motivated torture. To arrange an interview with CVT staff, please contact Brad Robideau, Media Relations Manager, at brobideau [at] cvt [dot] org or 612-436-4886.
If you are interested in doing a feature story about CVT’s work, CVT has several story ideas for your reference. Please contact Brad Robideau at brobideau [at] cvt [dot] org or 612-436-4886 for assistance with background information and interviews.
Torture is a deliberate and systematic dismantling of a person’s identity and humanity through physical or psychological pain and suffering. Torture’s purpose is to destroy a sense of community, eliminate leaders, create a climate of fear, and produce a culture of apathy. The most common forms of torture reported by CVT clients are beatings and psychological torture. There are an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 torture survivors in Minnesota and 500,000 in the U.S.
Providing healing care to torture and war trauma survivors
At its St. Paul Healing Center, CVT provides care for about 250 survivors each year and additional support services for 700 family members. CVT’s healing services span the disciplines of medicine, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social services, and massage and physical therapies.
CVT also provides rehabilitative care to torture and war trauma survivors in areas with few or no mental health services. CVT currently works in Dadaab, Kenya, with refugees from the war in Somalia; in Nairobi, Kenya, with refugees living there; in refugee camps near Shire, Ethiopia, with Eritrean refugees; and in Jordan providing care to Iraqi and Syrian refugees. In addition to mental health services, CVT’s international projects also train national staff to be peer mental health counselors.
Training healers in the U.S. and throughout the world
To foster the development of additional resources for the care of survivors, CVT works with torture rehabilitation centers in the U.S. and around the world. CVT provides training and technical assistance to help these centers provide high quality mental health services and build sound, financially stable organizations.
In the U.S., CVT has trained health, education and human services professionals who work with torture survivors and refugees so these professionals can provide appropriate and sensitive care. Community-based training projects have worked with refugee groups and mainstream providers to ensure survivors have access to care and services.
Advocating for Torture Survivor Rehabilitation and Ending Torture
At CVT, it is our mission not only to heal the wounds of torture, but also to end its practice worldwide. As a torture survivor rehabilitation center, we advocate for the protection of human rights from a unique position – one of healing and reclaiming civic leadership.
CVT’s Washington D.C. office gives voice to people who were purposefully silenced by the perpetrators of torture. In our nation’s capital, we build awareness about what torture is, how it’s used in the world and the effects of torture on individuals, families and communities.
We also show policy makers that there is hope, that survivors can regain productive lives of dignity.
Our Washington office works with Congress and the Administration to support funds for healing services to survivors in the United States and abroad. Since 2000, CVT has secured annual appropriations to the point where the United States is now the world’s largest donor to torture survivor rehabilitation programs.
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we have worked against counterterrorism approaches that inflict torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment on prisoners and for uncovering the facts surrounding the U.S. descent into torture, what went wrong and why. By doing so, we can prevent similar setbacks to our country’s commitment to the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Learn more about CVT’s advocacy.
New Tactics in Human Rights
The New Tactics in Human Rights project brings people, ideas and activism to the global human rights movement. It promotes the use and sharing of a wide range of tactics for protecting human rights through training and online networking.