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Classifying the Torture Experiences of Refugees Living in the United States

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2007 Pages: 108-123
Joshua B. Hooberman; Barry Rosenfeld; Dechen Lhewa; Andrew Rasmussen; Allen Keller
Date Published
January 2007
16 pages
This study described and categorized the different types of torture that were encountered in various regions of the world to identify patterns of torture experience.
Few research studies have systematically categorized the types of torture experienced around the world. The purpose of this study is to categorize the diverse traumatic events that are defined as torture, and determine how these torture types relate to demographics and symptom presentation. Data for 325 individuals were obtained through a retrospective review of records from the Bellevue/NYU for Survivors of Torture. A factor analysis generated a model with five factors corresponding to witnessing torture of others, torture of family members, physical beating, rape/sexual assault, and deprivation/passive torture. These factors were significantly correlated with a number of demographic variables (sex, education, and region of origin). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression symptoms were significantly correlated with the rape factor but no other factors were uniquely associated with psychological distress. The results offer insight into the nature of torture and differences in responses. Tables and references (Published Abstract)