ABSTRACT

This chapter aims to discuss the understanding of torture and ill-treatment to include the dimensions. The concept of “psychological torture” is part of our regular language, it is part of the experience of survivors, it appears in court rulings and news and it is incorporated as a concept in our daily language, even as a common-sense concept. For decades, torturers have been thinking about the psychological processes of the victim and the way to influence him/her, be it interrogational torture, humiliation or punishment torture or torture to induce compliance and obedience. Sometimes torture, especially short-term torture aimed to induce a temporary break of the will, leaves no marks. The Istanbul Protocol defines ways in which a professional can document and investigate torture from a medical and a psychological point of view. The individual assessment and therapy of torture survivors must be part of an overall process of reparation and rehabilitation.