Survivors of Torture (SOT)

Survivors of Torture seminar at International Rescue Committee(IRC) on Tuesday

I attended and wanted to give you a short summery of the event. It was held at the IRC office on 7th st in PHX. About 50 people in attendance. Casie C was the speaker. It started off with some info on the wall.

70 countries currently use torture as a wide spread weapon.
5 – 35% of all refugees are torture survivors.
Between 2,000 – 16,000 torture survivors were resettled in AZ between 1983 and 2008.

1) Name at least 3 symptoms common to torture survivors.
Below is what I gleaned as the answers:
a) Chronic health issues
b) Extreme anxiety and depression
c) Isolation / fear of people
d) Unexplained gaps in trauma history
e) Distrust of community, local authority

2) Name at least 2 barriers survivors face when seeking services.
Below is what I gleaned as the answers:
a) Fear that no one will believe their story
b) Shame about their torture experience
c) Even after basic needs are met, they still have feelings of lack of security
d) Cultural negative impressions relating to mental health help
e) They think language and financial difficulties may prevent them from getting help
3) Describe the “Survivors of Torture” (SOT) program to a potential client and correctly complete a SOT referral form.
Below is what I gleaned as the answers:
a) A program offered to survivors of politically motivated torture.
b) Refugees who have experienced severe mental or physical pain or suffering as inflicted by government officials, police, military, or other groups in power (rebel groups, insurgent groups, etc.)
c) Services are also available to family members of torture survivors.
d) Intensive case management counseling
e) Medical, Dental, Psychiatric referrals
f) Many other types of referrals for survivors of torture.

Who is not eligible for services from SOT.
1) Victims of general war trauma
2) Victims of domestic violence
3) Victims of human trafficking
4) Those who were tortured by private citizens
There is help available for these situations under different refugee programs, just not the SOT program.

This is a seminar I would recommend to anyone working full or part time with refugees, including long term volunteers. Its goal is simply to help the worker recognize symptoms of SOT, explain the SOT program and if the refugee is interested in receiving help, instructions on filling out the referral form.

Author: jimjudywycliffejourney

Jim and Judy have been with Wycliffe since 1984. They have served in aviation maintenance/management, motorcycle, and 4X4 training, recruitment, and facilities maintenance in multiple locations in the US and Africa. They currently work with America's Area, North Region, Scripture Access services team. They are a mobile USA team using the internet and face to face encounters with churches, ministries, Native American communities, Diaspora communities, refugee aid organizations, and individuals, introducing them to Through this website, those who did not grow up speaking English can access the Bible and other Scripture resources in the language they understand best. Would you consider becoming a part of their Wycliffe ministry partnership team? You can join their prayer or financial team by clicking on

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