Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture

  • The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (MF), a registered charity established in 1985, is the only organisation in the UK dedicated solely to the treatment of torture survivors.
  • Since its inception, almost 50,000 people have been referred for help. In 2008, the MF received 2,025 new requests for help. Clients came from 79 countries, with significant numbers from Sri Lanka, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Iran … (full long text Who we are).

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Torture: myths and facts; Survivors’ stories; Resources; Issues; News; Events; Get involved; Jobs; Volunteers; Supporter Groups;
Address: Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, The Alan Smithson Rooms, City House, 1-3 City Road, Newcastle, NE1 2AF, UK;

What we do /Introduction: Torture is used to intimidate, repress and dehumanise individuals. People are pushed to unbearable extremes of physical and psychological pain. Men, women and children sustain brutal injuries and are often forced to witness the violent subjugation of those around them. 

Arriving in the UK, having reluctantly fled their homeland, victims must contend with unfamiliar procedures of asylum and authority while struggling with their past experiences. Treating a torture victim therefore requires a holistic approach that responds to their physical, emotional and practical needs.

Referrals to the Medical Foundation are considered by an intake panel which assesses whether a person falls within our remit, how they are coping psychologically and practically, and whether the MF can offer a timely and effective response. Referrals are made by doctors, schools, refugee community organisations, community mental health teams, family members and other voluntary and statutory bodies.

Treatment may take the form of an initial medical assessment, individual casework and counselling, group therapy, physical therapy or psychotherapy. Where a client needs their injuries documented, as may be requested by a referring lawyer seeking a Medico-Legal Report, clients are referred to the MLR Team.

The Government’s growing appetite for dispersing torture survivors outside London means services offered by our centres in the North West, North East and Scotland are always expanding. Outreach work is vital in building the MF’s capacity and equipping existing voluntary and statutory services to deal with the specialist needs of torture survivors.

Advocacy and media work ensures that torture survivors’ stories are honestly and fairly portrayed, and that pressure is constantly maintained on government bodies through various lobbying and campaigning activities.

Key to the entire process is the contribution of some 80 interpreters offering services in 65 languages, matched where possible according to language and gender.

A client’s progress with the MF is consistently monitored by the intake panel to ensure we continue to meet their needs.

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