Current estimates of torture survivors, individuals who have been subjected to politically-motivated torture, living in the United States are nearing 1.3 million. The number of torture survivors in California is estimated around 500,000. However, many Californians are unaware of their presence, and are even less aware of the challenges these individuals have to endure in suffering with consequences of torture and difficulties in resettlement.
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.
CST collaborates with the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs (NCTTP), and the California Consortium of Torture Treatment Centers (CCTTC) in providing aid and advocating for services for these survivors.
As a result of our joint advocacy efforts, the Senate Joint Resolution 6 has passed the California State Legislature and will be making its way to the United States Congress!
SJR 6 raises awareness about the presence and needs of torture survivors in California. It also celebrates the existence of our state’s torture treatment centers. SJR 6 officially declares June 26th a Day in Support of Victims of Torture in California. Finally, SJR 6 calls on the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to distribute Torture Victims Relief Act funds in a way that adequately accounts for California’s leading role as a resettlement destination for torture survivors.
Access the full text of SJR 6 here.