The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) is dedicated to healing survivors and ending torture. By extending rehabilitative care to survivors, building the capacity of institutions and individuals and advocating against torture and in support of human rights, CVT works toward a future in which torture ceases to exist and its survivors have hope for a new life. CVT was founded in 1985 as the first torture survivor rehabilitation center in the United States and just the third internationally; it remains the largest organization of its kind in the U.S. and is one of the two largest in the world.
The mission of the Center for Victims of Torture is to heal the wounds of torture on individuals, their families and their communities and to end torture worldwide.
Clients are at the Heart of our Work
At CVT, we are dedicated to healing survivors and ending torture. To do this, we begin with the client. From the time a survivor reaches out to us for care until the day of the last post- therapy follow-up session, CVT works to build security and trust, and to listen. Through highly specialized rehabilitative care, CVT has seen that survivors of almost unthinkable atrocities are able to unlock strength, courage and resilience that allows them to begin rebuilding their lives. CVT uses an interdisciplinary model of care, incorporating mental health counseling with disciplines including physiotherapy, social work, medical care or referrals. All care is assessed with monitoring and evaluation practices that accurately measure effectiveness and results.
CVT also focuses on the client’s family. When a client receives care, family relationships benefit. The way trauma affects individuals has an impact on family members, so we involve family members in rehabilitation as well; in fact, last year CVT extended care to more than 28,000 survivors and family members.
We work every day within survivor communities. CVT extends psychoeducation in many locations in order to work against negative stigma that many people have related to mental health. We also expand access to effective care to survivors by working with mental health care professionals, organizations, institutions and schools as well as individuals, bringing training in specialized rehabilitative skills, self-care techniques, evaluation practices, and more. This allows the capacity to provide effective care to grow and stabilize sustainably, with care delivered in the community, by the community. This capacity development is implemented internationally as well as in the U.S.
In addition, CVT works on policy advocacy in order to impact the structures that have the power to prevent torture and support survivors. From our Washington, DC office, CVT works to build support for refugee protections, to sustain funding for rehabilitative programs, and to foster the prohibitions against use of torture. In addition, through its New Tactics in Human Rights program, CVT promotes strategic and tactical thinking among activists in the international human rights community.
Where do we work?
CVT’s model centers the needs of survivors, and we believe that over time those needs are best served within the local community. Therefore, our centers are located as closely as possible to the places where survivors live: we see survivors in refugee camps and in urban areas in Africa and the Middle East. We extend care primarily to asylum seekers at our centers in the U.S.,
How big is CVT?
The 2020 budget totals nearly $25 million, of which about $6 million is contributed by individuals, foundations, corporate philanthropies and other institutions. $18.5 million is earned through government contracts and medical and targeted case management billing. CVT has grown about 150% over the past 6 years; growth trajectory has averaged 10-15% per year. We employ 430 staff, including 130 in the U.S. and 300 in Africa and the Middle East.
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Reports to: Executive Director
Supervisory Responsibilities: Directors of External Relations (Development, Policy & Communications), Global Operations (IT, HR, Risk Management, Facilities), International Services, Client Services and Research
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) is responsible for overall organizational effectiveness of a growing international human rights NGO; day-to- day management; and implementation, coordination, administration and evaluation of CVT within the framework of CVT’s strategic and operational plans.
The COO will:
Board and External Relations:
Diversity & Inclusion
CVT strives to respect the diversity of all people with whom we connect, including staff members, clients, volunteers, partners, communities and donors, and to actively incorporate inclusion and equity into our plans, activities and structures, recognizing that our ability to meet our mission hinges on our effectiveness at inclusion. CVT has embarked on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to ensure we adapt to the changing communities we serve, to address disparities so that CVT staff feel valued and respected, and to transform the ways in which we operate.