Torture is defined under national and international laws. The Torture Victims Relief Act uses the following definition of torture given in section 2340(1) of title 18, United States Code:
- “Torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
- “Severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from
- The intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
- The administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
- The threat of imminent death; or
- The threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality
As used in the TVRA, this definition also includes the use of rape and other forms of sexual violence by a person acting under the color of law, upon another person under his custody or physical control.
A client must be available to receive SURVIVORS’ services during business hours or during the stated hours of the contracted provider(s).
A client must be able to receive services as an outpatient and not be in need of inpatient hospitalization at the time s/he is accepted as a new client.
An individual who has been a voluntary perpetrator of torture is not an appropriate client for SURVIVORS.
Some individuals have suffered torture in the context of family violence, cult activity, criminal assault or other settings which do not fit the criteria from the definitions used by Survivors of Torture, International. We recognize that the injuries and damage from these abuses may be extreme. At the same time, SURVIVORS’ work focuses on its specific mission, and we therefore refer these cases to other resources.