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 full complement of direct client services provided by CST and its partners include:

  • Comprehensive case management services, including interpretation, food, clothing, transportation, ESL, linkages with housing, vocational, legal and educational services.
  • Clinical services, including clinical assessments, psychotherapy, psychiatry, medications, and neuropsychological testing.
  • Health services including primary healthcare, laboratory tests, referrals to medical specialists, acupuncture, and dental referrals as needed.
  • Legal services including forensic medical and psychological evaluations and linkage to pro-bono lawyers, community legal organizations and University Law Clinics
  • Psycho-education and orientation about trauma and its effects and education about U.S. laws in regards to child abuse, domestic violence.
  • Psychosocial group activities and linkages to community and cultural organizations.

CST clients also partake of AACI’s multiple programs, including the medical clinic, mental health, substance abuse treatment and domestic violence shelter and participate in health, medical, legal, and other social services through its partners.

Program Goals:

  • 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