Did you know there are currently 11,000 survivors of politically motivated torture living right here in San Diego? This is a frightening but real statistic that is being compassionately addressed by a local non-profit organization called Survivors of Torture International (SURVIVORS). Since 1997, this amazing organization has been helping survivors and their families recover from their traumas through a holistic program that includes mental health, psychiatric and social services, as well as medical case management. SURVIVORS empowers these vulnerable individuals to reclaim the strength and vitality that were stolen from them by brutal dictators and governments and allows them to become self-sufficient and healthy members of our community. In addition, SURVIVORS educates professionals and the public about the plight of torture survivors and their families, and advocates for the abolition of torture throughout the world.
Every year, SURVIVORS holds a fundraising luncheon, called Helping Survivors Heal, to raise money to continue its mission. This year, more than 400 people attended, and the Coronado Democratic club was well represented at a table for 10, organized by Susan Enowitz. The luncheon was held on September 14 at the DoubleTree Hotel Hazard Center. Those who attended enjoyed a delicious lunch and were inspired by how SURVIVORS is creating a safe haven for torture survivors and helping them rebuild their lives. Most memorably, we heard inspiring and heartrending stories of resilience from some of the survivors themselves. There was not a dry eye in the house. All of the money donated at the luncheon will go directly to SURVIVORS’ programs and its clients.
To learn more about SURVIVORS, visit the website at www.notorture.org.