We now open up this site to colleagues who share the same aim. Like a library, use, share, resources linked here and collaborate. We know it may be impossible to stop torture, given the reality of human behavior and history, we can help those harmed, stop those who harm and help them become whole as well as the torture victim.
This site will provide more and more resources to learn about how the torture traumatized are able to recover -- the risks and protective factors -- and how APA can help make them whole; enable them to recover from their mental and physical injuries and transform their horrific treatment into life-long lessons that enable them to find peace and joy again in their lives.
collaborators and Partners
Center for Survivors of Torture practitioner who has been working with survivors of torture and genocide for over a decade. Dr. Ayoub received her Doctorate in Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and has interned with various professional organizations focusing on the mental health needs of refugees, as well as treating other survivors of severe trauma (i.e. domestic violence, sexual trafficking of women and children, and hate crimes against gays and lesbians).
Dr. Ahmed is a physician and Assistant Clinical Professor of Epidemiology at the Permanente Medical Group, and University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Ahmed was Medical Director of Survivors International from 2003-2006, and from 2006-2011 was Director of the Human Rights Clinic at Alameda County Medical Center. In these roles, Dr. Ahmed examined hundreds of torture survivors from over 60 countries and provided expert witness testimony on the medical and psychological evaluation of torture survivors in over 50 cases in United States Federal immigration court since 2001. She has also presented affidavits to the European Court of Human Rights. Dr. Ahmed has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals on the intersections of physical and mental health, with a special interest in sequelae of torture. She received her MD from the University of Chicago in 1996 and completed residencies in Internal Medicine at Stanford University in 2000 and General Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Francisco in 2002. She received an MPH in 2001 and completed a fellowship in Social Epidemiology in 2004 at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Crosby is an internist and former Co-Director of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights at Boston Medical Center. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Crosby’s clinical practice focuses on care of asylum seekers, asylees and refugees, and she has written over 200 affidavits documenting medical and psychological sequelae of torture. She has published scholarly papers in multiple peer-reviewed journals in the field of caring for survivors of torture and recently was awarded the 2008 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.
Dr. Grossman is Professor of Law, Dean Emeritus, and the Raymond Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law (WCL). Professor Grossman served as WCL dean from 1995-July 2016, at which time he decided to return to the faculty. He was appointed Dean Emeritus by American University's (AU) Board of Trustees in recognition of over two decades of commitment, dedication and distinction.
During Professor Grossman's 21-year tenure as dean, WCL further developed its intellectual creativity, pursuing numerous and exciting initiatives. More than 50 full-time faculty members were hired, dramatically improving the law school's student-faculty ratio and expanding and enhancing scholarship, teaching and service. A variety of WCL programs were developed during Professor Grossman's deanship including: dual JD Programs with universities in Canada, France, Australia, Spain and Italy, the LL.M. in Law and Government Program, the L.L.M. in Advocacy, the LLM in Intellectual Property, the Supervised Externship Program, the S.J.D. Program, a dual LL.M./MBA, LL.M. specializations in Gender and the Law and in Free Trade Agreements and Regional Integration, Online Education, and specialized summer programs in human rights and humanitarian law, international commercial arbitration, anti-corruption, health law, intellectual property, law and government, international organizations, law and diplomacy, environmental law, legal English, and legal Spanish. Also during his leadership as dean, WCL developed and expanded summer abroad programs in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, numerous semester abroad programs, the International Commercial Arbitration Center, the Intellectual Property (IP) Program, clinics in IP, Disability Rights Law, Immigrant Justice and an evening section of the General Practice Clinic, and integrated sections in the first year so as to promote interconnectedness among the different law courses.
Karen Hanscom, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, is an international subject matter expert on torture treatment since 1996. She sits on the executive committees of national and international consortia in her field. She is Executive Director of Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (ASTT) in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD.
As monitoring and evaluation advisory, Mr. Higson-Smith works to strengthen the capacity of Partners in Trauma Healing partner centers to evaluate the effectiveness of their clinical interventions. He brings to the position over 20 years of experience in the torture treatment field including previous work with CVT. In 2005, he began his partnership with CVT as the International Capacity Building African Regional Consultant. More recently, Mr. Higson-Smith has served as the clinical consultant to the Trauma Healing Initiative - Africa project where he has been key in providing close monitoring and tailored technical assistance to the project’s African partner centers during regular site visits and clinical capacity building workshops. He is a founding member of the Sinani Program for Survivors of Violence and the South African Institute for Traumatic Stress. During his career he has taught at several universities, worked as a senior Research Specialist for the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, and authored many articles and books on trauma and torture treatment. Mr. Higson-Smith is a research psychologist with an MA (cum laude) from the University of Natal in South Africa and is currently finishing his Ph.D. exploring contextually appropriate torture counseling models for Sub-Saharan Africa. He works from his home in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ms. Kohli is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, currently serving as Interim CEO and President of Asian Americans for Community Involvement(AACI), San Jose. Herself an immigrant, Ms. Kohli has worked with immigrant populations for over 10 years, providing individual and group psychotherapy and case management, and has trained in the assessment and treatment of trauma and torture. She also supervises clinicians working with traumatized clients. Additionally, Ms. Kohli is involved in advocacy for the torture survivor population and in training clinical and other providers who work with this population, having made numerous presentations at the state and local levels on working with the special issues related to refugees and torture survivors for medical, psychological, legal and community-based organizations.
Mr. Lavelle is the Director of International Programs and Community Organizing for the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT). As Co-Founder of HPRT, he has spent the past 33 years working as a clinician, educator, researcher, and community organizer helping to pioneer the field of refugee mental health. With his HPRT colleagues and their in-country partners, James participated in innovative trainings of primary-care physicians and mental health professionals and paraprofessionals in Thailand, Cambodia, Croatia and Bosnia. Finally, he participated in a training consultation in Peru with HPRT’s collaborating center, the University of San Marcos Medical School. James has worked with his HPRT team in conducting major epidemiological research in these societies. He also co-founded the world famous Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic (IPC) in Boston in 1981 with Dr. Richard Mollica after starting his career in 1978 as Director of the Indochinese Refugee Mental Health Program sponsored by a group called Research for Social Change Inc. IPC has morphed since the year 2000 into a new and improved clinical service for individuals and families entitled “A Statewide Network of Local Care for Survivors of Torture,” based at Lynn Community Health Center (funded by the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement). James is a member of the international faculty of the “Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program.” This program incorporates lecture-based training held in the cities of Porano and Orvieto, Italy followed by five months of web-based learning, aimed at developing a “Community of Practice” of faculty and participants. This unique training is the major vehicle for the dissemination of the Mental Health Action Plan and Book of Best Practices generated through HPRT’s policy initiative: Project 1 Billion.
Dr. Lykes is Professor of Community-Cultural Psychology at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Her research interests include the effects of state-sponsored terror and organized violence; human rights policy and mental health interventions; participatory action research; gender, culture, and theories of the self; and community-based strategies for change. Her many publications have appeared in the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Social Science & Medicine, American Journal of Community Psychology, American Psychologist, and the Journal of Social Issues, among others. She also serves on the Editorial Boards of Action Research and Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, and as a reviewer for many other journals and has co-edited three books and co-authored two others. In 2012 she received the Ignacio Martín-Baró Lifetime Peace Practitioner Award from the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and Violence, of the American Psychological Association and in 2013 she was awarded the American Psychological Association's International Humanitarian Award.
The greatest threat to the fight against torture is apathy: that we silently accept that torture exists.
World Without Torture exists to keep the fight against torture high on the global agenda.
World Without Torture has been established by the IRCT (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims) – a global organisation with a membership of more than 140 rehabilitation centres in over 70 countries and with over 25 years' experience.
For more information please visit www.irct.org
Dr. Méndez is a Professor of Human Rights Law In Residence and since November 2010, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In 2009 and 2010 he was the Special Advisor on Prevention to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. He is also Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. Until May 2009 he was the President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and in the summer of 2009 he was a Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in New York. Concurrent with his duties at ICTJ, the Honorable Kofi Annan named Mr. Méndez his Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, a task he performed from 2004 to 2007.
Dr. Quiroga is the medical director of the Program for Torture Victims. He serves on the Executive Committee and is Vice-President of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is also the treasurer of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He is a globally recognized authority on torture and trauma. A torture survivor, he fled from his native Chile and arrived in America.
Dr. Reicherter is the director of the Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Laboratory. He has expertise in the area of cross-cultural trauma psychiatry, having spent more than a decade dedicated to providing a combination of administrative and clinical services in trauma mental health locally and internationally.
Dr. Reyes is former medical coordinator for Health in Prisons for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a post he occupied from 1984–2012. A graduate of Geneva University Medical School (Switzerland), with a doctorate in Medicine and FMH specialization in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Foederatio Medicorum Helveticorum: Swiss medical federation), he joined the ICRC in 1982 as medical doctor, specifically for health activities related to persons in custody. Dr. Reyes documented prison health as well as ill-treatment, human rights violations,
and torture for the ICRC in more than 45 countries around the world during his 28 years with the institution Dr. Reyes has taught two generations of ICRC medical staff on health in prison issues, torture and its consequences, solitary confinement and other forms of abuse, on management and mismanagement of hunger strikes, and many other related subjects. Since 1991, he has been medical Observer for the ICRC to the World Medical Association (WMA) and its Ethics Committee, working closely with the WMA on many ethical issues of concern in prisons.
Dr. Silove is the Director of Psychiatry Research & Teaching at the Mental Health Centre, Liverpool Hospital, Australia. He specializes in the area of mass trauma, transcultural psychiatry and refugee and post-conflict mental health. His specific interests are in post-traumatic stress disorder; anxiety disorders, developmental psychology, asylum seekers, violence, war and post conflict, and ethics, human rights and health. Professor Silove has published over 300 journal articles, book chapters, monographs and major reports. He has won the Simpson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Services (for pioneering work in Refugee Mental Health) and the Dean's Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2010. He was also on the Queen's honours list in 2016 for Significant Service to Medicine in the Field of Psychiatry, to Medical Research as an Academic, and to the Promotion of Mental Health and Human Rights. His team is at the forefront of research in the field of refugee and post-conflict mental health worldwide and he has played a key role in establishing services for traumatic stress amongst refugees and conflict-affected populations and in the anxiety disorders in general in Australia and internationally in post-conflict societies. Professor Silove has also been a consultant for a range of international agencies including the WHO, UNHCR and World Federation for Mental Health.
Ms. Shanfeld currently serves as the Director of Health and Wellness at Nationalities Service Center. Gretchen has been working with vulnerable adults in Philadelphia for eight years. Her work initially began with men and women transitioning from welfare into work. In recent years, she has returned to work with immigrant and refugee populations including serving as Vice President of Proyecto Renacer at Congreso de Latinos Unidos. Since she joined NSC in 2009, Gretchen has served as a member of NSC’s health team and worked to expand health resources and develop processes to ensure that refugees have access to a full range of health services. She has also served as the Case Manager for the Survivors of Torture Program at NSC. As the Director of Health and Wellness at NSC, Gretchen is responsible for health, mental health and related services for NSC’s diverse clients. She also coordinates the Philadelphia Refugee Health Collaborative, a group that brings together resettlement agencies and health providers to increase the timeliness and quality of care available to refugees in the region.
Dr. Shapiro is the Chief Psychiatrist of the Center for Survivors of Torture at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) in San Jose, California for many years providing psychiatric treatment services and consultation to survivors of torture, and severe trauma; in addition to providing clinical trainings and workshops in the community. Dr. Shapiro has a private practice in general psychiatry in Menlo Park and San Francisco working with adults and adolescents. He is the founder of Golden Gate TMS with an office in downtown Palo Alto. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Cornell University Medical School and completed his residency training in psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is double board certified in Adult and Forensic Psychiatry by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. Dr. Shapiro has been on the teaching faculty at both Harvard and Stanford medical schools.
Dr. Cynthia Willard obtained her Doctorate of Medicine degree at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1994. She completed her residency training in Family Practice at the University of California, San Francisco. In 2001, she earned her Masters of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Her diverse work experiences include the Clinica Msr. Oscar Romera (FQHC), University of Utah Community Clinics, and the Los Angeles Department of Health Services. She served in a leadership role as the Associate Medical Director of The Saban Free Clinic from 2007-2008. Dr. Willard is the Founder and Director of Utah Health and Human Rights Project, a non-profit health and social services agency that assists refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking in Utah. She served in the International Medical Corps in Kenya and Albania. Dr. Willard’s research in family medicine and primary care have led to publications in Family Medicine and Archives of Family Medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Physicians for Human Rights
Become a collaborator, partner, or provide information please contact:
Prof. Charles R. Figley, Ph.D., the Paul Henry Kurzweg, MD Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health at Tulane University and School of Social Work Professor and Associate Dean for Research.