Torture survivors in Denmark

Approximately 80% of DIGNITYs patients in Denmark are male refugees who have been tortured and have a permanent residence permit in Denmark. There is quite a difference in the patients' social, economic and educational backgrounds - some are illiterate, other highly educated. It is common, that they have significant social problems and poor Danish language skills, making it necessary to use interpreters during the rehabilitation process.

All of them have many symptoms and problems such as post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, poverty and other social problems and different responses to crisis and grief. They often experience flashbacks, sleep disturbances, nightmares, isolation, concentration and memory problems, lack of self-control, inability to function among other people, sexual problems, physical pain, etc..

Why is an interdisciplinary treatment necessary?
• It is not possible to reduce the patient's problems to a single diagnosis like e.g. PTSD or chronic pain.

• The patients' problems interact (social, psychological and physical)


Torture has been called ‘the mother of all human rights violations’. As long as a country practices or tolerates torture, people will be reluctant to speak, assemble and participate in the political life. Stopping torture is the first step towards improving human rights in general.

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