Challenging stereotypes - what would you ask a survivor?

The UK has a proud tradition of welcoming people who have fled persecution, such as torture. Recently it can seem like that history has been forgotten. We need to stand up for the values we've fought for over centuries and challenge negative stereotypes. For Refugee Week and the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, survivors will take over Freedom from Torture's channels.

Blog by Salani Mutseyami, Refugee Week Leader at Freedom from Torture

The UK has a proud tradition of welcoming people who have fled persecution, such as torture, and for standing up for human rights.

But, in recent years with the rise of extremist views and populism, Theresa May’s hostile environment and the negative portrayal of those seeking refuge in the media, it can seem like that history has been forgotten.

We need to stand up for the values that the UK was founded on – fairness, respect for human rights and a tradition of offering safety for those who need it, like people fleeing torture.  We want to challenge the narrative and negative stereotypes. There are no people better placed to do this than those Freedom from Torture works with – people who have themselves been forced to flee torture.

For Refugee Week and the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we are helping survivors to take over our social media channels and talk about what is important to them.

We will celebrate the resilience and contribution made by survivors of torture, and raise awareness of why people must have the right to seek protection as well as the many barriers they face rebuilding their lives in the UK and how they have managed to overcome them.

Challenging stereotypes is best done when people connect with other people. So as part of this takeover, we also want to connect the people we work with to supporters of Freedom from Torture.  What questions would you ask a survivor?

They don’t have to be big or profound, even simple things, like finding out about someone’s favourite football team or player, a favourite song, or food helps build connections.

If you want to take part, email your questions to info@freedomfromtorture.org with the subject, 'Ask a survivor’. Or join us on Instagram or Twitter on June 26th when we'll be doing a live Q&A session with the people we work with. 

We’ll share the answers from survivors to the best questions across our channels on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.