Report: Women Survivors of Torture Find Difficulty in Seeking Redress
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 3:40 PM

8 December 2009

Justice Denied, a new report released by the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (MF), found that female survivors of torture are overwhelmingly unable to access support and rehabilitation services; some survivors seeking aid are rejected by their communities and dismissed by authorities. MF concluded that this human rights abuse requires urgent action on the part of governments throughout the world, particularly highlighting the need to increase support for women who are rebuilding their lives and seeking justice after experiences of torture.

Justice Denied analyzed the experiences of 100 women from 24 countries who settled in the United Kingdom after surviving torture. The report stated that almost all of the women studied had experienced at least one incident of rape or sexual assault. The vast majority were unable to find help when they sought redress and could not access legal aid or the necessary healthcare.      

Leanne MacMillan, Director of Policy and External Affairs at MF, stated that “[w]omen continue to be targeted for torture. They are then hampered in their pursuit of redress and even access to basic healthcare in societies where underlying and pervasive gender inequalities and disparities persist.” She stated that “[d]enying [women] access to justice and rehabilitation perpetuates a climate in which torturers are able to act with impunity.”

Compiled from: Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (MF), “Justice Denied,” (December 2009). (PDF, 32 pages).