What We Do
“They told me, 'You'll be alone with this for the rest of your life. You'll die with this alone.' But when I heard about the Center for Victims of Torture, I knew the torturers had lied.” – Survivor of Torture
At the Center for Victims of Torture, we are forging new ways to advance human rights and build a future free from torture. Through research, training, advocacy and our healing services for survivors, each initiative we undertake plays a role in building a larger vision for the torture rehabilitation movement. We provide a bridge between torture victims, the local community and society as a whole, working to restore the dignity of the human spirit one survivor at a time.
In Minnesota, torture survivors receive out-patient care at our Healing Center in St. Paul. A team of healers provides medical and nursing care, psychotherapy, social services and massage and physical therapy.
Our international healing initiatives are in refugee camps and post-conflict areas where few mental health resources are available. We train local community members and refugees to meet the mental health needs of their compatriots for the long term.
At CVT, training is about finding ways to strengthen and support the people and organizations that work with torture survivors. We offer training projects around the world so that individuals and organizations can learn new and improved ways to provide healing services to torture survivors.
We work with other torture victim rehabilitation centers to help them develop their own tools for measuring the impact of rehabilitation services on the well-being of torture survivors. We conduct rigorous evaluation and monitoring to ensure the work we do is effective. Our healing services in Minnesota and at our international projects consistently document significant decreases in mental health symptoms.
CVT’s Washington, D.C. office gives voice to people who were purposefully silenced by perpetrators of torture. In our nation’s capital, we show policy makers that there is hope, that survivors can regain productive lives of dignity.