The United Nations designated June 26 as annual Torture Awareness Day–a time for the world to collectively pay respects to those “who have endured the unimaginable" and "to speak up against the unspeakable.”
will commemorate the day with a special event on Tuesday at their offices on 6451 Schaefer Road in Dearborn.
The nonprofit Center for Victims of Torture in St. Paul, MN, estimates that more than a half-million immigrants and refugees in the United States are victims of torture. The obstacles faced by all immigrants, including linguistic and social barriers and difficult economic conditions, can be magnified for victims of torture and war, who may seclude themselves from family and community. Teens, too, suffer from the effects of torture and war. Faced with a new and foreign environment, they can become angry and hostile.
ACCESS serves this community through its Dearborn and Sterling Heights Psychosocial Rehabilitation Centers. Among their clients are refugees from some of the most volatile regions in the world, including Rwanda, Paraguay, Iraq, Congo, Afghanistan and Palestine.
The number of those in need in Michigan also continues to increase, mostly due to the influx of Christian Iraqi refugees who were forced to flee their homeland and have settled primarily in Macomb and Oakland counties.
On Tuesday, June 26, “Together Against Torture” at ACCESS will be a time for the community to support those who have been victimized by torture and war. This event is a show of solidarity against cruelty and the triumph of the human spirit over injustice.
The event will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the front lawn of ACCESS One Stop Employment and Human Services Center, 6451 Schaefer Road, Dearborn MI 48126. There will be a tent with a large banner in Arabic and English. Activities will be included, as well as artwork made by participants and survivors. Members of the ACCESS staff will be on hand to answer questions.
Light snacks, coffee, tea, and water will be available through the day.