Philadelphia Partnership for Resilience (PPR)

  • This is a picture of artwork created by PPR clients.
    PPR offers healing opportunities including therapeutic arts to enrolled clients.
Torture is the intentional infliction of severe mental or physical pain or suffering by or with the consent of the state authorities for a specific purpose, often occurring within a socio-political, historical and cultural context.

The Philadelphia Partnership for Resilience (PPR) works with survivors of torture and their families in the greater Philadelphia region to rebuild their lives and heal from the physical and psychological wounds from torture. PPR is the only program specifically for survivors of torture in Philadelphia and currently is working in partnership with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Pennsylvania (HIAS PA) and BuildaBridge International, to help meet the multifaceted needs of our survivors.

What is Torture?
The United States Torture Victims Relief Act defines torture as: “an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain of suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.”

Torture is one of the most destructive and dehumanizing human rights abuses. Some of the most common methods of physical torture include beating, electric shocks, stretching, submersion, suffocation, burns, rape and sexual assault.

Psychological forms of torture can have the most long-lasting consequences for victims. It commonly includes isolation, threats, humiliation, mock executions, mock amputations, and witnessing the torture of others. Services NSC offers to survivors include:

Intensive Case Management: For the past six years, PPR has helped hundreds of survivors gain access to comprehensive medical and mental health care as well as legal and social services. Intensive and targeted case management helps survivors regain a sense of control and empowerment and work toward the achieving client-developed goals. 

Group Work: The impetus for group services grew out of research and recognition of the need to help families and individuals regain a sense of community and connectedness. Torture aims to destroy a sense of identity, family and community, creating a climate of fear and distrust between individuals and communities. It also breaks down the connections and social bonds that exist to produce isolation and apathy.

PPR helps survivors restore hope and trust in others and the community through group work such as art therapy, educational and support groups, and a newly launched human rights-based group for survivors to reclaim their rights and be empowered individually and collectively.

Legal Services: PPR provides legal services to individuals in the Greater Philadelphia region. Torture survivors often have critical legal needs including obtaining immigration relief to protect them from being returned. They also need the support of close relatives through family reunification; some members who were left behind can be at great risk of harm, causing anxiety and trauma to the survivor in the United States. We also provide services such as obtaining legal work authorization, applying for lawful permanent residency, legal assistance to access public benefits, overcoming domestic violence, and preventing housing displacement and unfair employment practices. Legal partners represent clients in other cases including naturalizations, travel documents, humanitarian parole, temporary protected status, and in consular processes. 

PPR works with the two leading immigration legal services providers in this region - NSC and HIAS PA - to provide legal services to survivors. PPR provides free legal services internally or through a pro bono referral to eligible torture survivors using an integrated approach that includes coordination with case management, interpretation, forensic and other mental health service providers.

Training and Technical Assistance: PPR provides training and technical assistance as well as screenings to help service providers better understand the effects of torture and how best to work with survivors to achieve holistic healing as they acclimate to their new surroundings.

Eligibility and Referral: For more information about Philadelphia Partnership for Resilience or to make a referral, please complete this referral form below and contact: Cathy Jeong, Project Coordinator, cjeong@nscphila.org for an eligibility screening.

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