Lack of hospitality, inadequate identification of vulnerable cases, encroaching on the islands, risk of a return to Turkey. Victims of torture are coming to Greece to look for a better future, but in some cases, they are experiencing new injuries.
The above were found during an event organised by the Hellenic Council for Refugees, the Vavel Day Center and Médecins Sans Frontières, on the occasion of today’s World Torture Victims Support Day. The three organisations also carry out a rehabilitation program for torture victims in Athens in 2014.
“The big issue we are facing with the victims of torture is housing,” explained the social worker of Médecins Sans Frontières. This problem is mainly faced by non-family men and recognised refugees. Lack of housing causes the already overwhelmed psyche of the victims of torture “insecurity, fear, difficulty in joining and rehabilitation, and a rebellion condition,” he noted.
The biggest challenges for the healers of torture victims are the continuing trauma, frequent population movements, the traumatic asylum process and the absence of support mechanisms, “the coordinator of the rehabilitation program for torture victims,
The head of the Greek Council for Refugees described the difficulty of torture victims to talk about what happened to them. “We have people so vulnerable that we have not been able to persuade them to describe the torture they have suffered. There are people who do not want to approach them, they do not want to be opened – and these are the most difficult cases, “he said. However, this creates difficulties in the process of examining their asylum claim.
The main countries of origin of the victims are the Democratic Republic of the Congo (21%), Iran (10%), Syria (9%), Afghanistan (6%), Sudan (5% ), Nigeria (4%) and Cameroon (4%).
25% of the victims said they have also suffered sexual violence, such as rape, physical and verbal sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, and forced pregnancy. It is notable that 70% have mental health problems.