Services for Torture Survivors
Survivors of torture are unique in their resolve and resilience. Their survival through extra-ordinary traumatic events imbues them with a quiet dignity that makes it incumbent upon the service provider to honor and respect their experience. It is this underlying philosophy that guides service delivery at AACI’s Center for Survivors of Torture (CST). CST provides culturally competent services to torture survivors using a client centered approach which is multidisciplinary, holistic, and strengths based. This service approach capitalizes on the clients’ resilience and internal resources as well as external support to identify the unique and comprehensive needs of the survivor. Our approach empowers the client to make informed choices to address those needs. Client services are delivered by a team of professionals and para-professionals who understand this complex form of trauma from both cultural and psychological perspectives. Partnering with other service providers in the community allows us to leverage our resources and avoid duplication in addressing the multiple needs of survivors.
The integrated client services provided by CST and its partners include:
- Clinical services, including clinical assessments, individual and group psychotherapy, psychiatry, medications
- Forensic medical and psychological evaluations
- Comprehensive case management services, including interpretation, food, clothing, transportation, ESL, linkages with housing, vocational, community and cultural organizations.
- Health services including primary healthcare, laboratory tests, referrals to medical specialists, acupuncture, and dental referrals as needed.
- Psycho-education and orientation about trauma and its effects and education about U.S. laws in regards to child abuse, domestic violence.
- To rehabilitate torture survivors and improve their level of functioning so they can become productive members of the community.
- To train providers outside of the torture treatment centers to improve services for survivors in the community
- To contribute to the knowledge base and disseminate research findings about this population.
All services are:
- Completely confidential
- Available in many languages
- Free or low cost; available regardless of ability to pay
The New Refugee Services program is designed for newly arrived refugees and their families resettling in the U.S. and Santa Clara County for less than five years to improve their abilities in dealing with stressors experienced in the new country such as adapting to the new culture and language, managing financial difficulties, and dealing with emotional challenges such as depression and anxiety.
CST advocates for the civic engagement, health care access and social justice for these survivors of torture. We aim to be the voice for these survivors by providing them with the insight into the effects of torture, and the consistent care to re-establish trust, bring damage under control, and help relieve exile by enabling some mastery of problems in a new country and culture. We also participate in advocacy in the State Legislative level to bring awareness about the presence of torture survivors in our state and encourage support of California and national torture treatment centers.