Justice Denied: The Experiences of 100 Torture-Surviving Women of Seeking Justice and Rehabilitation: Report Summary

Friday, October 1, 2010
Ellie Smith
Peacewomen Comment: 

This resource was submitted as part of the 1325+10 PeaceWomen initiative to compile a repository of papers dealing with a broad range of issues around the implementation of 1325, as part of the Women, Peace and Security: From Resolution to Action Geneva High-Level Consultation 15-16 September 2010, Geneva.

In a recent report which was co-written by the author for the UK-based Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (the “Medical Foundation”), the cases of 100 torture surviving women from 24 different countries were examined in order to assess women's experiences of accessing justice and rehabilitative care in their countries of origin in respect of abuses suffered. The 100 women first sought the services of the Medical Foundation during a six month period in 2008.

In the report, the authors examined the ways in which women experienced torture, with a particular focus on gender-specific torture. The report included information relating to the injuries and other sequelae sustained by the 100 women as a result of torture. The authors examined the profile of the women with a view to identifying factors which might render some more vulnerable to torture and other forms of abuse than others. The report includes an exploration of access to justice and rehabilitative care in the aftermath of torture, looking at the direct experiences of the women in the study, and also more generally at specific country information. Based upon the direct experiences of the 100 women, together with country information and clinical expertise more broadly, the authors identified and examined the barriers which prevent women from seeking or otherwise successfully accessing justice and clinical care and support in respect of torture and sexual violence. The report concludes with a number of recommendations.

The findings of the study, together with the report's recommendations for a gender-sensitive approach to reparations, are outlined below. The full report, complete with sources, can be found at http://justice-denied.torturecare.org.uk/.

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Justice Denied, Smith, Oct 2010