Aiding Survivors of Torture: Evaluation of Asylum Seekers for
Prevention of Re-Traumatization (Audio Training, 3 Credits)
with Andrew Stone, MD, Karen Hanscom, PhD, Julia Frank, MD, Katalin Roth, MD
Establishing safety is one of the fundamental principles of trauma treatment, yet trauma therapists seldom have the opportunity to contribute directly to this vital step. Testimony from medical and mental health evaluations may play an important role in asylum hearings in supporting the credibility of victims’ accounts and documenting the sequelae of the experience of torture or other trauma. By learning how to perform and report evaluations of survivors of torture and other human rights abuses, the clinician can make a crucial contribution to the welfare of asylee applicants. This training will provide an overview of definitions and epidemiology of torture, describe the physical and psychological sequelae, and then give practical instruction in the process of conducting examinations of affected individuals, along with the development and presentation of reports of these evaluations. Legal aspects of asylum and documentation will be presented, and the process of expert testimony will be addressed. The speakers are all professional volunteers experienced in this activity. Participant Alert: Specific descriptions of torture and human rights abuses may be presented.