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Torture

Help and support

Are you a torture survivor and need help and support to heal? The following organizations offer rehabilitation IN SWEDEN: 

Röda korsets center för torterade flyktingar i Stockholm (Red cross’ Center for Tortured Refugees in Stockholm):
Information in Swedish: http://www.redcross.se/rkcstockholm
Information in English: http://www.redcross.se/contentassets/346eb967a7894dd09c52509adfa264f1/ny-infoblad-engelska.pdf
Information in Tigrinya: http://www.redcross.se/contentassets/346eb967a7894dd09c52509adfa264f1/infoblad_tigrinja151117.pdf
Report in Swedish about Red Cross’ rehabilitation for torture victims: http://www.redcross.se/globalassets/dokument/vard-och-behandling/rodakorset_arsbok-vard-2015_version-2.pdf

Röda Korsets behandlingscenter för krigsskadade och torterade (Red Cross Treatment center for war- and torture survivors)
Information in Swedish: http://www.redcross.se/behover-du-var-hjalp/vard-och-behandling/
Available in Malmö, Göteborg, Skövde, Uppsala, Skellefteå and Stockholm.

Kris-och Traumacentrum (Crisis- and Trauma Center)
Information in Swedish: http://krisochtraumacentrum.se/
Available in Stockholm

General information about torture rehabilitation in Sweden: http://www.viss.nu/Handlaggning/Vardprogram/Psykisk-ohalsa/Patienter-som-varit-utsatta-for-tortyr/


Quick information about torture

Are you a torture survivor? You have gone through a very difficult experience – and you have survived. There are many others sharing similar experiences.  You are not alone! There is help and information available online and in books, that can help you to heal. Reading information can help you understand the feelings and reactions that you may experience. It is also good knowing that your feelings are shared by many other survivors. If you want to have professional help, there are organizations specialized in rehabilitation of torture survivors available (if you live in Sweden, please see information above).

Being subjected to torture means being subjected to a traumatic event. According to the American Psychological Association, a trauma is an “emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea.”

Some people feel that it is difficult connecting their reactions to the trauma that they have been subjected to. As the Swedish Kris- and Traumacentrum (Crisis- and Trauma Center) points out, many people who have contacted them for help have expressed fear of “going crazy”. However, in most cases, what these people are experiencing are normal reactions to the extreme event that they have been subjected to.

A person who has been subjected to a traumatic event may experience many kinds of psychological and physiological symtoms. In some cases, the symtoms show immediately after being subjected to the traumatic event. For others, it may take years before the symtoms start showing. In this case, the symtoms often start in relation to a stressful event.

In some cases, psychological symtoms fullfill the criterias of a trauma-related diagnosis. Common trauma-related diagnoses are:

  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This is the most common diagnosis.
  • ASD (Acute Stress Disorder)
  • Dissociation
  • Depression

There are many ways of treating problems related to torture. Some people heal by themselves or with the help of a supportive environment. However, in many cases, professional help is needed. PTSD, for example, is often treated with the help of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR).

You can find more information about torture, including personal testimonies on Untold Stories by clicking here.


Other sources

The Center for victims of torture: http://www.cvt.org/
Sexual assault prevention and awareness center: https://sapac.umich.edu/