Freedom from Torture - Who are our clients

Who are our clients

Freedom from Torture provides support to adults, young people and children who have survived torture and organised violence (you can read more about our organisational remit here). The organisation refers to the survivors it helps as its 'clients'. The vast majority of Freedom from Torture clients are asylum seekers or refugees who have secured their status in the UK.

Since Freedom from Torture was established in 1985, over 57,000 individuals have been referred to the organisation for help. In 2016 alone we provided over 17,000 psychological therapy interventions. 

In 2016, over 66% of the 1,294 clients referred to Freedom from Torture came from 10 countries: Sri Lanka, Iran, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Sudan.

The majority of Freedom from Torture clients report having been targeted due to their race, ethnic origin, gender, religious, cultural or political beliefs. Political activists and journalists are often selected by the authorities for exercising their freedom of expression and vocalising their opposition to government policies. Many people are tortured during conflicts, where torture is used to instil a climate of fear and to force people to flee. Family members are sometimes targeted simply by association in an effort to get to someone else.

Freedom from Torture also helps the children of torture survivors who have been through great trauma. They may have witnessed violence and abuse or been forced to interpret the stories of their parents to the authorities in the UK, causing them to digest and repeat information which can have a traumatising effect.