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Services for Survivors of Torture

Published: May 10, 2012

Program Goal

The Services for Survivors of Torture Program is committed to enabling persons who have suffered torture by foreign governments to regain their health and independence and rebuild productive lives in the U.S., not as victims, but as survivors.

General Background

The Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998 (TVRA), provides funding for a comprehensive program of support for survivors of torture. The TVRA recognizes that a significant number of refugees, asylees, and asylum seekers entering the United States have suffered torture. These torture survivors, now living in the United States, should be provided with the rehabilitative services which would enable them to become productive members of our communities.

Grants to programs in the United States fund the following services: 

  • Rehabilitation of victims of torture, including treatment of the physical and psychological effects of torture.
  • Social and legal services for victims of torture.
  • Research and training for health care providers outside of treatment centers, or programs for the purpose of enabling such providers to provide the services described in paragraph (1).

Program Description

Torture may have been an experience of many members of groups now residing in the United States who were tortured by foreign governments, including refugees, asylees, immigrants, other displaced persons, and U.S. citizens. Estimates of the number of torture survivors have been established primarily by extrapolating from the major populations at risk--refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons. In 2008, the United Nations estimated there to be nearly 16,000,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the world and 26,000,000 internally displaced persons. The estimates of refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced persons who have been tortured vary widely from 5% to 35%. This announcement, which focuses on physical, psychological, social, and legal services for torture survivors as well as education and training of service providers, recognizes that torture may have been an experience of many members of groups residing in the U.S. including refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, immigrants, other displaced persons, and U.S. citizens who were tortured abroad.

The ORR program funding announcement includes two areas of emphasis:

1) Assistance to Torture Survivors through Direct Services, services are funded that meet the medical, psychological, social, and legal needs of torture survivors. Activities also include outreach and training for community service providers that have access to or work with torture survivors.  A total of 27 grantees are currently funded in 17 states to provide direct services to persons who have been tortured and their family members.

2) Technical Assistance to Organizations and Institutions Providing Direct Services to Torture Survivors. Two cooperative agreements are funded under this priority area to design and deliver technical assistance that enables programs to provide effective services to torture survivors.

Eligible Population

Clients are determined eligible for the Services for Torture Survivors Program in accordance with the TVRA authorizing legislation. This legislation uses the following definition of torture given in section 2340(1) of title 18, United States Code:

(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;

(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from −

(A)  the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

(B)  the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;

(C)  the threat of imminent death; or

(D)  the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality

As used in the TVRA, this definition also includes the use of rape and other forms of sexual violence by a person acting under the color of law, upon another person under his custody or physical control.

Online Resource Center

www.HealTorture.org is the new online resource center created for programs serving torture survivors, individuals wishing to learn more about serving this population, and for survivors looking for information and services.

Forms

  • Program Reporting Requirements

Resources

GRANT TYPE GRANTEE NAME CITY STATE END DATE AMOUNT CONTACT NAME ADDRESS TELEPHONE
Services for Survivors of Torture International Rescue Committee, Inc. Tucson AZ 9/29/2012 $330,000 Kay Bellor 122 East 42nd St; New York, NY 10168 212-551-2728
Services for Survivors of Torture Asian Americans for Community Involvement of Santa Clara San Jose CA 9/29/2012 $380,000 Sarita Kohli 2400 Moorpark Avenue, Suite 300; San Jose, CA 95128 408-975-2730
Services for Survivors of Torture Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 9/29/2012 $330,000 Mary Ann Heimann 1102 Crenshaw Blvd.; Los Angeles, CA 90019 323-801-7971
Services for Survivors of Torture Chaldean and Middle-Eastern Social Services, Inc. El Cajon (San Diego area) CA 9/29/2012 $240,000 Zina Asmar Salem 436 South Magnolia Ave., Suite 201; El Cajon, CA 92020 619-631-7400
Services for Survivors of Torture Program for Torture Victims Los Angeles CA 9/29/2012 $475,000 Julie B. Gutman 3655 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 290; Los Angeles, CA 90007 213-747-4944
Services for Survivors of Torture Khmer Health Advocates West Hartford CT 9/29/2012 $225,000 Mary Scully 1125 New Britain Avenue; West Hartford, CT 06110 860-561-3345
Services for Survivors of Torture Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services Clearwater FL 9/29/2012 $475,000 Ann Marie Winter 1401 Icot Boulevard; Clearwater, FL 33760 727-450-7274
Services for Survivors of Torture Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights Chicago IL 9/29/2012 $435,000 Mary Lynn Everson 208 South LaSalle St, Suite 1818; Chicago, IL 60604 (773) 751-4071
Services for Survivors of Torture Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard) Boston MA 9/29/2012 $375,000 Richard Mollica 22 Putnam Avenue; Cambridge, MA 02139 617-876-7879
Services for Survivors of Torture Lowell Community Health Center Lowell MA 9/29/2012 $260,000 Dorcas Grigg-Saito 585 Merrimack Street; Lowell, MA 01854 978-746-7851
Services for Survivors of Torture Boston Medical Center Corp. Boston MA 9/29/2012 $475,000 Ellen Jamieson One Boston Medical Center Place; Boston, MA 02118 617-414-5646
Services for Survivors of Torture Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, Inc. Baltimore MD 9/29/2012 $395,000 Karen Lucille Hanscom 431 E. Belvedere Avenue; Baltimore, MD 21212 410-464-9006
Services for Survivors of Torture Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Baltimore MD 9/29/2012 $380,000 Leslie Velez 700 Light St; Baltimore, MD 21230 410-230-2840
Services for Survivors of Torture City of Portland Portland ME 9/29/2012 $360,000 Robert Duranleau 196 Lancaster Street; Portland, ME 04101 207-775-7911
Services for Survivors of Torture Bethany Christian Services Grand Rapids MI 9/29/2012 $360,000 George J. Tyndall 901 Eastern Avenue, NE: PO Box 294; Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0294 616-224-7617
Services for Survivors of Torture Wayne State University (ACC) Detroit MI 9/29/2012 $360,000 Manuel E. Tancer 2751 East Jefferson Ave.; Detroit, MI 48207 313-577-1808
Services for Survivors of Torture Center for Victims of Torture Minneapolis MN 9/29/2012 $535,000 Andrea Northwood 649 Dayton Avenue; St. Paul, MN 55104 612-436-4800
Services for Survivors of Torture City of St. Louis Mental Health Board St. Louis MO 9/29/2012 $475,000 Allyce P. Bullock 4144 Lindell Blvd., Suite 300; St. Louis, MO 63108 314-535-6964
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Services for Survivors of Torture HHC Elmhurst Hospital Center Elmhurst NY 9/29/2012 $240,000 Dinali B. Fernando 7901 Broadway; Elmhurst, NY 11373 718-334-6209
Services for Survivors of Torture HealthRight International NYC NY 9/29/2012 $210,000 Aaron Acharya 80 Maiden Lane, Suite 607; New York, NY 10038 212-226-9890
Services for Survivors of Torture New York City Health & Hospitals/Bellevue New York NY 9/29/2012 $535,000 Allen Keller 462 First Avenue; New York, NY 10016 212-562-8490
Services for Survivors of Torture Oregon Health and Science University Portland OR 9/29/2012 $400,000 John Mark Kinzie 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road; Portland, OR 97239 503-418-1608
Services for Survivors of Torture Center for Survivors of Torture Dallas TX 9/29/2012 $315,000 Celia VanDeGraaf 4102 Swiss Avenue; Dallas, TX 75204 214-827-2314
Services for Survivors of Torture Utah Health and Human Rights Project Salt Lake City UT 9/29/2012 $330,000 Jocelyn Romano 225 South 200 East, Suite 250; Salt Lake City, UT 84111 801-363-4596
Services for Survivors of Torture Boat People SOS, Inc. Falls Church VA 9/29/2012 $225,000 Rissa Obcemea 6066 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100; Falls Church, VA 22041 703-538-2190
Services for Survivors of Torture Northern Virginia Family Service Falls Church VA 9/29/2012 $415,000 Sharon S. Frost 10455 White Granite Dr., Suite 100; Oakton, VA 22124 703-219-2125
Services for Survivors of Torture Behavior Therapy & Psychotherapy Center Burlington VT 9/29/2012 $220,000 Karen Marie Fondacaro 2 Colchester Avenue; Burlington, VT 05405-1764 802-656-5715
Sole Source Award
Services for Survivors of Torture Survivors of Torture, International San Diego CA 9/29/2012 $271,000 Kathi Anderson P.O. Box 151240; San Diego, CA 92175-1240 619-278-2407
Technical Assistance Providers
Technical Assistance Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services Clearwater FL, Service area: National 9/29/2012 $375,000 Ann Marie Winter 1401 Icot Boulevard; Clearwater, FL 33760 727-450-7274
Technical Assistance The Center for Victims of Torture Minneapolis MN, Service area: National 9/29/2012 $500,000 Carol White 717 East River Parkway; Minneapolis, MN 55455 612-436-4847

Contact Information

Jewel Roberts, MSW
Program Manager
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and Families
901 D Street, SW
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: 202.205.9557
Fax: 202.401.0981
Jewel.Roberts@acf.hhs.gov