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Hassan is a survivor of the brutal, ongoing civil war in Syria.

The scale of the violence is almost impossible to comprehend. The situation is chaotic, with various military factions – rebels, government and some terrorist groups – responsible for targeting civilians because of religious affiliation, ethnicity, or to humiliate, intimidate and exploit.

Hassan was kidnapped by a Syrian military faction and tortured for three months. In addition to beating him regularly, the torturers hung Hassan by his arms and forced him to kneel for hours.  He was deprived of sleep and subjected to a terrifying mock execution.

Finally, after his family was able to pay a ransom, Hassan was released.

Photo: Laura Takacs and Adrinne Carter

Laura Takacs and Adrienne Carter are part of the healing team with CVT Jordan. A mobile unit travels to communities in northern Jordan to provide care to Syrian and Iraqi refugees. On a daily basis, up to 50 Syrians are requesting care from our mobile unit.

And while the actual torture  ended, Hassan continued to suffer. He had extreme anxiety and hyper-vigilance, overreacting to unexpected noises. At night, he had trouble sleeping. When he could sleep, he relived his torture through intense, violent dreams. Deep depression and an inability to trust others made relationships with his family and friends strained and turbulent.

In addition to the psychological trauma, Hassan had lingering physical effects of his torture. Pain coursed through his upper back and shoulders. Numbness in both arms hindered his ability to move easily and freely.

Fortunately for Hassan, he learned about our work in Jordan.

After individual counseling, Hassan participated in group therapy.  He now reports that his nightmares and anxiety have subsided.  He is better able to control his anger, which makes his family relationships not just easier, but more fulfilling. To ease his pain and improve his mobility, Hassan participated in group physical therapy. The pain and numbness have disappeared, making everyday tasks easier.

While war rages in his home country, Hassan is adjusting to life in Jordan. He is finding joy in the small things of daily life and developing new relationships in his community.

Thank you for your continued support of our work. We deeply value the compassion and generosity you show for survivors of torture and for our healing teams in Jordan, Africa and the United States.
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To protect the confidentiality of this survivor, we have changed his name and some identifying details. 

 

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