chapter  17
10 Pages

Psychological and physical abuse: Torture – a man-made disaster

WithInge Genefke, Marianne Kastrup

Recognition of the symptomatology ensuant to torture was a phenomenon of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, the interest was focused on the aim of torture, the physical and psychological methods of torture, and the physical and psychological after-effects of torture concerning the individual survivor. The United Nations definition is considered as the world society’s definition of torture. Physical methods of torture are those methods which inflict pain, discomfort and dysfunction in different parts of the body. Killing the victim is not the aim of torture. Therefore, the torturer takes care that the victim does not die during the torture. The torturer also takes care that the torture inflicted upon the victim is either undetected or detected only with difficulty by an ordinary examination. Systematic physical and psychological forms of torture are usually performed at the same time, and are intended to destroy the physical and psychological well-being of the victim for a long time into the future.