By Kendra Sitton
July 21, 2020 (San Diego) - An estimated 35,000 torture survivors reside in San Diego County. Only one torture treatment agency is accredited to serve this vulnerable population in our county: Survivors of Torture, International. East County Magazine spoke with Survivors’ Community Relations Manager, Katrina Pimental, about their clients’ experiences during the pandemic.
Many are facing job loss without access to government help. Mental health issues such as PTSD are triggered by lockdown measures which remind them of house arrest. Many don’t qualify for CARES Act benefits and are struggling financially. Some have gone without food for days. Their asylum claims are in limbo.
Our interview delved into these issues, as well as how the nonprofit is responding.