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Research & Training Resources

2011 October 13

TORTURE: Latest Issue of IRCT Journal Now Available

TORTURE: Volume 21, Number 3, 2011, the journal of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, is now available for free download. You can sign up for email notification of future issues at the IRCT website , or can request a printed copy by mail.

“While there are some examples of legal cases which have resulted in the prosecution of perpetrators and successful reparation for survivors, in countries such as Iran, such due procedure is close to impossible, since torture is practiced by state officials mostly based on religious codes, and the legal system is controlled by practices that makes it close to impossible to achieve justice. This article discusses the implications of such a situation…”
                     — from How to combat torture if perpetrators are supported
                          by a religious “justification,”
a case study by Siroos Mirzaei,
                          Lilla Hardi, Thomas Wenzel in TORTURE 

Health Promotion for
Torture and Trauma Survivors

The National Partnership for Community Training is offering a new web-based training seminar featuring Dr. Richard Mollica, director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. “This webinar helps participants to understand how health promotion can help our clients…learn how to educate clients about healthy lifestyles including how to talk with their doctors about their concerns.” From the Partnership’s website, you can stream or download the audio recording, as well as download a PDF file of the presentation slides.
            Dr. Mollica and the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma are featured in our forthcoming documentary film, Refuge: Caring for Survivors of Torture.

Recent Research on Chronic Pain in Torture Survivors

A press release following the conclusion of September’s EFIC “Pain in Europe VII” Congress reports on two recent studies dealing with chronic pain in survivors of torture. An Israeli study comparing former prisoners of war to controls found that the POWs experienced greater chronic pain, PTSD, and other pain and anxiety-related symptoms more than 35 years after their captivity. Dr. Ruth Defrin concluded that “it appears that war captivity and torture inflict a long term dysfunction of pain inhibitory pathways. This dysfunction along with the emotional consequences might underlie the high rates of severe chronic pain among torture survivors.”
            A study from Sweden examined ways to improve treatment options for torture survivors – most of them from Iraq – experiencing long-standing pain. According to Dr. Gunilla Brodda Jansen, “Torture survivors score very high regarding depression, anxiety, catastrophic thoughts, and they have low quality of life…The pain class was very much appreciated and reduced suffering. Anxiety decreased slightly, but not depression. In total, life satisfaction of our patients increased. Education, talking and understanding have shown to be a good medicine.”
            EFIC, the European Federation of IASP chapters is a professional organization of physicians, researchers, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals involved in pain research and management in 35 European countries. IASP is the International Association for the Study of Pain.

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