Freedom from Torture - Where do our clients come from?

Where do our clients come from?

In 2016 Freedom from Torture clients came from 76 countries, mainly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Once again the highest numbers of referrals came from Sri Lanka, followed by Iran, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Sudan – countries affected by conflict and political repression. Two thirds of our clients came from one of these ten top referring countries.

For the first time, we are seeing significant numbers from Syria, as more Syrian refugees are resettled in the UK and are being referred to our services.

We provided over 17,200 psychological therapy interventions in 2016 supporting 1,066 clients. We also provided physical therapies, practical legal, financial and housing advice and support and prepared medical reports which forensically document the physical and psychological consequences of torture used as expert evidence in asylum claims.

Most clients came weekly, others fortnightly or monthly, and some felt able to leave therapy altogether. However, for every person leaving, new clients are waiting.

Clients were also supported through group therapy, such as our Bread Group, our Natural Growth Gardening therapy or our football therapy group. Others engaged in advocacy and media work through our torture survivor network, Survivors Speak OUT.

We know that there are many more people we could help, if we had the resources. At present we are only able to accept one in three people who are referred to us for therapy.

That’s why we have intensified our fundraising efforts to ensure that we can reach more of those people we are now reluctantly turning away. Our unique services should be for all who need them – thank you to all our supporters for enabling us to carry on with our work now and in the future.

We are the only charity in the UK that specialises in healing the effects of torture. With the terrible events in countries like Syria and Afghanistan, the number of child torture survivors who need our help is increasing. Many arrive here alone, having seen and felt the most appalling brutality. If you want to support our work, please consider making a donation.

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