U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Survivors of Politically Motivated Torture: A Large, Growing, and Invisible Population of Crime Victims

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1999
14 pages
This document informs victim services providers about the special needs of torture survivors as they begin new lives in the United States.
Politically motivated torture is practiced or condoned in more than 100 nations around the world. An estimated 400,000 torture survivors live in the United States today. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) sponsored a meeting in October 1998 for nearly 300 health care and human service professionals to learn about providing care and rehabilitative services to survivors of politically motivated torture. This report summarizes issues raised at the meeting, including the aftereffects of torture on survivors and their families; how treatment centers intervene to help victims deal with the physical and psychological aftermath of victimization; and, most important, how treatment centers collaborate with and provide training to victim assistance personnel and allied professionals. The report discusses: (1) The Extent of Torture; (2) Torture Defined; (3) The Intent of Torture; (4) The Aftereffects of Torture; (5) Solutions in the Community; (6) Minnesota Establishes New Program for Torture Survivors; and (7) Opportunities for Collaboration. The volume includes a list of additional resources and the names and addresses of 15 Treatment Centers for Survivors of Politically Motivated Torture.

Date Published: January 1, 1999