The history of the NCTTP and the evolution of the Torture Victims Relief Act (TVRA) are interwoven
as each supported and helped to make possible the development of the other.
A Brief History of the NCTTP
- Current membership includes 31 organizations in 16 states and the District of Columbia.
- A national conference call for existing torture treatment programs in the early 1990s
is arranged by the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT).
- In 1998, with Office for Victims of Crime funding, the first network meeting of torture
treatment programs is held in Minnesota.
- In 1999, CVT, through private foundation funding, convenes a second meeting in Minnesota
and a torture treatment network takes shape.
- The NCTTP incorporates in 2001. An elected Executive Committee and other member interest
committees convene monthly through conference calls and website discussions. An annual
meeting involves all member programs.
- Recent projects of the NCTTP have included in 2009 initiating a
Symposium at which individual NCTTP member centers present academic
papers on the last day of the group’s annual meeting. Collecting raw
demographic data on torture survivors from over 20 Consortium
treatment sites under the oversight of an Institutional Review Board
began in late 2008. The NCTTP’s Policy Committee has continued its
active role in working with federal and state legislators to
increase funding for torture survivors through the TVRA In early
2010, the group initiated this website.
The Torture Victims Relief Act
- Senator Dave Durenberger (R-MN) introduced the TVRA in 1994 in the 103rd Congress.
- The TVRA was re-introduced in 1994-1995 in the House by Congressmen Christopher Smith (R-NJ) and Tom Lantos (D-CA) and in the Senate by Senators Paul Wellstone (D-MN) and Arlen Specter (R-PA).
- In the 105th Congress the TVRA was introduced by the same House Members and by Senators Paul Wellstone and Rod Grams (R-MN). Congress enacted the TVRA in the 1996-1997 session. President Clinton signed it into law in 1998.
- Health & Human Services (HHS) & the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) was authorized to assist torture survivors regardless of their legal status, and in 2000 ORR funded 16 torture treatment programs.
- Now, in 2010, an estimated 125,000 to 750,000 torture survivors living in the US continue to need our assistance. Full funding of the TVRA will help centers that treat torture survivors broaden their approaches to treatment and prevention, train mainstream providers, and develop new and effective approaches to ending torture.
- The Office of Refugee Resettlement continues to play a prominent
role in planning and disbursing grants from TVRA funds to torture
treatment centers throughout the United States. A percentage of the
TVRA funds is authorized and managed through the United Nations
Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. A number of NCTTP centers
receive funding through the UNVFVT.
- Increased funding of TVRA is needed to make more grants of this nature is possible.