We Need Your Help! There is no way we could do the work that we do without the more than 100 volunteers and professional contractors who give their time and talents to our organization. Varying talents and expertise are needed to serve torture survivors.
There are numerous ways to offer support to Survivors of Torture, International. We hope you will consider making a contribution to assist our community of healing. To learn more, join us at our Journey to Healing Tour and learn how Survivors of Torture, International is creating a safe haven for torture survivors, helping them to rebuild their lives, and building a welcoming community for all survivors.
SURVIVORS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. You can download the Federal IRS form here. Our current IRS 990 is publicly available at Guidestar.Heal / Interpret / Volunteer / Advocate / Jobs & Volunteer Openings
SURVIVORS recruits mental health professionals, physicians, dentists, massage therapists, and acupuncturists on a volunteer or reduced fee schedule to help clients through their trauma.
“I have often thought I should pay to do this work. Through my experience with SURVIVORS, I have witnessed both the best and worst of humankind. The depth of the trauma I have heard recounted in stories is surpassed by the strength and spirit I see in each survivor. Each client I have worked with has stretched my heart in ways that no other work has.”
– SURVIVORS’ Therapist
All professional volunteers, once screened, must complete a W-9 form.
Torture experiences are often referred to as being “too much for words” or “inexpressible.” The atrocities, and the lingering effects, are beyond the scope of the common vocabulary.
“Through interpretation I play my small role in relieving the intense distress of survivors of torture. I cannot grasp the motives for torture, but I can summon my experiences to help heal the effects of it.”
– Turkish Language Interpreter
SURVIVORS’ clients come to us from all over the geographic and linguistic map. They speak Acholi, Amharic, Chaldean (Aramaic), Dinka, Khmer, French, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and many other languages. Many survivors speak two, three, even four languages fluently, but they need the skills of a trained and compassionate interpreter to lend them a voice in English.
Word by word, story by story, our interpreters, clinicians, doctors, and staff are together re-building the hope and re-creating the community that survivors and their families need to feel whole and healed. Our interpreters allow the “unspeakable” to become a narrative, and that narrative to become a force against torture.
More than 45 languages are represented in SURVIVORS’ interpreter network. All interpreters receive an orientation to our organization, and a modest hourly payment for the professional work they do. This hourly fee helps to pay tribute to the importance and difficulty of the work.
If you are interested in become an interpreter for SURVIVORS, please fill out an application and contact SURVIVORS for more information. All interpreters must also complete a W-9 form, which can be found here.
SURVIVORS is a small nonprofit with a big mission, so volunteers are essential to our success. There are many opportunities if you would like to lend your time and skills to become part of our healing community. Please download an application.
“While it is overwhelming to look at all the unjust in the world I am heartened by the work of SURVIVORS because I see good people making a significant difference, one smile at a time.”
– SURVIVORS’ Therapist
Please e-mail applications to us at SURVIVORS. Thank you for your interest.
Part of our rehabilitation program is the Friendship Circle, whereby our clinical staff match concerned San Diegans (Befrienders) with torture survivors (Friends). The goals of this project are to promote friendship and social support between torture survivors and members of the community, to minimize isolation, and to increase the functioning of torture survivors. We ask befrienders to make a commitment of 6-8 hours a month for six months. Knowledge of languages such as Arabic, Spanish, or Somali is helpful.Volunteer DriverS
Volunteer drivers provide rides for SURVIVORS' clients who can't drive or lack the funds or ability to use public transportation. This program allows clients to keep essential appointments for counseling, medical care, and other services. Most of these appointments occur during weekday work hours. Volunteer drivers help clients feel comfortable by providing a reliable and friendly environment during their rides, and may sometimes assist or advocate for clients during an appointment.Newsletter Folding Party
Throughout the year, SURVIVORS holds newsletter folding parties to prepare issues of "The Survivor" for mailing. Volunteers help stamp, seal and address newsletters. If you have a company, church group, service club, or other group that might be able to hold a small volunteer gathering then please e-mail us at SURVIVORS.
Action Alert: Tell Congress to Reauthorize the Torture Victims Relief Act
The Torture Victims Relief Act provides urgently needed funds for torture rehabilitation programs in the United States and abroad to help torture survivors heal from their trauma and rebuild lives of dignity.
First passed in 1998, TVRA has received bipartisan support throughout its legislative history from Members of Congress across the country. Please join us and torture rehabilitation programs around the country in advocating for continued support of this important work by reauthorization of TVRA.
During this session of Congress, Representative Chris Smith (NJ-4) and Representative Jim McGovern (MA-3) have introduced H.R. 2404, the Torture Victims Relief Authorization Act of 2011.
Here's a sample letter you can send to your Representative urging him or her to cosponsor H.R. 2404:
As your constituent, I urge you to co-sponsor the bipartisan Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act of 2011 (H.R. 2404).
Torture is practiced around the world by governments and rebel groups to instill fear, destroy leadership, and abolish community and civil society. As a supporter of Survivors of Torture, International, I know that torture survivors can recover from their trauma and rebuild successful lives, becoming contributing members of our society.
The U.S. is currently home to more than 500,000 torture survivors and, by investing in the Torture Victims Relief Act, can demonstrate its strong commitment to healing the wounds of torture and advancing human rights.
The Torture Victims Relief Act authorizes the Office of Refugee Resettlement to fund U.S.-based torture rehabilitation programs for survivors of politically-motivated torture. It also authorizes the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide funds to assist torture rehabilitation centers in other countries.
H.R. 2404 would extend currently existing TVRA authorizations through the Office of Refugee Resettlement and through the U.S. Agency for International Development for an additional two years. I hope you will support this legislation to bring hope and healing to survivors of torture.
Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you on this important issue.
When calling your Representative to ask him or her to cosponsor H.R. 2404, introduce yourself and tell the office you are from the Representative's district. Tell them you would like Representative [name] to cosponsor H.R. 2404, the Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act of 2011 which authorizes funds for torture rehabilitation programs in the U.S. and abroad.
Need the contact information for your federal representatives? Look here for your Representatives in the House.
Take Action! Tell the Senate Committee on Intelligence to release the report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program with as few redactions as possible
In 2009, the Senate Committee on Intelligence announced a review of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) detention and interrogation program, including an investigation into the U.S. government’s involvement in torture and the cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees. This 3-year investigation has resulted in a 6,000-page report that describes in detail the decisions at all levels that led to the use of torture.
It is most critical that this report be released to the public with as few redactions as possible, in order to provide accountability for torture and the human rights violations that have occurred in the recent years. Additionally, a public release of this report will provide a much-needed check against similar abuses occurring now or in the future.
The committee voted to release the report, which has now been sent to the executive branch for their review and comment. The report will remain classified and is not being released in whole or in part at this time. The committee will make those decisions after receiving the executive branch comments. For more information on the committee’s decision to release the report, please see this statement by Senator Feinstein: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=46c0b685-a392-4400-a9a3-5e058d29e635
Please contact Senator Feinstein (CA), especially if you are one of their constituents, to ask that the report be released to the public with as few redactions (sections blacked-out) as possible.
Here is who to contact:
In Senator Feinstein's office, please contact David Grannis at D_Grannis@ssci.senate.gov or (202) 224-1700.
Here is sample email text for you to use:
As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to support the public release, with as few redactions as possible, of the forthcoming report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) detention and interrogation program.
I support the Committee's investigation to establish the facts surrounding the CIA interrogation, rendition, and detention programs. These issues have been the subject of intense speculation and debate, and the absence of a comprehensive examination of the facts based on the actual historical record has been extremely corrosive and divisive.
Under the UN Convention Against Torture and other human rights treaties, survivors of human rights violations, as well as the public, have a right to know the truth about the U.S. government’s involvement in torture and cruel treatment of detainees following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. A public release of the CIA torture report is a critical and responsible step toward accountability for human rights violations, and a much-needed check against similar abuses occurring now or in the future.
There can be no justification for continuing to deny survivors and the public the facts. As you know, the bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee Report on the role of the Department of Defense in detainee abuses has already been made public.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.
(Your Name & Address)
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Parul Monga, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at the NYU School of Medicine Center for Health and Human Rights. She can be reached at Parul.Monga@nyumc.org or (212) 845-5283.
See the Center for Victims of Torture’s statement on this issue here: http://www.cvt.org/news-events/press-releases/cvt-statement-senate-intelligence-committee%E2%80%99s-adoption-cia-torture-report