What is Torture?
The UN Convention Against Torture defines torture as: Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining information or a confession, punishment for an act committed or suspected of being committed, or intimidating or coercing a person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
Effects of Torture
Because of the violations and loss of power and control experienced, survivors often live with feelings of shame and have difficulty trusting people, which can mean that most people in their lives never know about the history of trauma that they are carrying. It’s common for survivors to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which can include symptoms such as flashbacks, severe anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, depression and memory lapses.
Torture is not an individual issue – it is an issue that deeply affects the survivors’ families and wider communities and we believe it takes a whole community of support to acknowledge and heal from this type of trauma.
Nobody knows how many survivors and family members that are living with histories of torture and trauma live in our community. We do know that many people have fled their home countries during time of unrest and violence to seek asylum here.
Please contact us if you’d like more information or would like to get involved in our work.