Helping the victims and survivors of Organised Violence and Torture in Zimbabwe
One of the deeply troubling aspects of OVT is the apparent lack of awareness of the serious consequences for victims’ health, and especially their mental health. It was this lack of awareness that was the motive for the groundbreaking conference held in Zimbabwe in 1990. The theme, The Health Consequences of Organised Violence and Torture in Southern Africa, made this concern plain, and led to the establishment of a number of initiatives in the SADC region to push for both available services, greater awareness, and, of course, prevention. In South Africa, a number of small initiatives became established organisations, making important contributions to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process. These included the Project for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation at the University of the Witwatersrand (now CSVR), Cowley House (now the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture), the KwaZulu-Natal Programme for Survivors of Violence (now Sinani), and the National Peace Accord Trust. (NPAT) These developments were echoed all around the world under the umbrella of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT).