Refugee Resources

Cynthia McArthur

In 1996 volunteer Cynthia McArthur began working with CVT on a bicycle donation program for clients.  This Webinar will show CVT’s Bikes for Clients  program as an example of how the organization and the community work together to assist clients in connecting more with the communities they live in and reaping other physical and psychological benefits. 

Annie Sovcik, JD

Director, Busing on the Lookout

Ms. Sovcik has spent almost ten years working on refugee, asylum and immigration policies. Prior to joining CVT, Ms. Sovcik was the Advocacy Counsel for the Refugee Protection Program at Human Rights First where she focused on laws and policies impacting refugees seeking asylum in the United States. Ms. Sovcik was also a Staff Attorney with the Access to Justice and Children’s Services units at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

Annemarie Brennan

Annmarie Brennan, JD, is Associate Legal Advisor in the National Security Law Section of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She provides guidance on various aspects of immigration law, including national security issues, removal of foreign fugitives, claims to U.S. citizenship, practice before immigration courts, appeals, and the role of human rights law in immigration law. She collaborates in this work with the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, which is the largest legal program at DHS.

S. Megan Berthold, PhD

Associate Professor and Director of Field Education, University of Connecticut School of Social Work.
Dr. Berthold teaches research to doctoral students and courses about trauma, human rights, and clinical practice to MSW students. Areas of specialization include: torture, war and other traumas; posttraumatic stress reactions; mental health; refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants; cross-cultural clinical work; international social work; human rights and social justice. Since 1987, her practice has been with diverse refugee and asylum-seeking populations in the United States and refugee camps.

Richard F. Mollica

Richard F. Mollica, MD, MAR is the Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his Psychiatry residency at Yale Medical School. While at Yale he also trained in epidemiology and received a philosophy degree from the Divinity School. In 1981, Dr. Mollica co-founded the Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic (IPC). Over the past two decades HPRT and IPC have pioneered the mental health care of survivors of mass violence and torture.

Fraud scheme targeting refugees and other recent immigrants

There are several criminals seeking to take advantage of newly arrived refugees who may not realize the need to protect their personal information from thieves and other criminals.  
The Bhutanese community of Minnesota reports a new variation on a common fraud scheme.

Information about the U Visa

This information is from the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

What is a U visa?

A U Visa grants temporary immigration status to individuals who:
  • Are or have been victims of certain crimes that took place in the United States and
  • Have suffered substantial harm as a result of these crimes and
  • Are assisting, have assisted, or will assist law enforcement in the investigation and/or prosecution of these crimes.

Who can apply for a U visa?

Crime victims who are not U.S. Citizens, nationals or lawful permanent residents can apply for a U Visa.
For crime victims over 21:
  • U Visas are available to the

Rape and sexual assault

Rape and sexual violence are commonly used methods of torture.  Providers of services including medical, legal, psychological, or social services to immigrant and refugee populations should be aware of the possibility that their clients may have been subjected to sexual or gender-based violence before, during, or after their refugee journey.


"Healing and The Pursuit of Justice: Challenging Sexual Assault as an Instrument of War"


Part 1 – Rape and Sexual Assault as a Weapon of War

Part 2 –  The Effects of Sexual Assault on Refugee Women

Part 3 –  A Human Rights Approach to Sexual

Congolese resources

The following resources were assembled by Ann Willhoite of CVT, and accompany the webinar, Refugees from the DRC: An Overview for Torture Treatment Programs.

Current background information

Cultural Orientation Backgrounder from the Cultural Orientation Resource Center:

UNHCR fact sheet:

The Florida Center for Survivors of Torture Country Conditions Report:

Sexual violence


Torture and War Trauma Brochures

These informational brochures contain identifying information about the physical and psychological effects of torture and war trauma and suggest appropriate interventions. These brochures are designed for a focused group consisting of individual survivors, family members and refugee communities

You are encouraged to reproduce the brochures for use by your agency or to request hard copies contact Ev Lennon at The Center for Victims of Torture by email or call her at 612.436.4857.

Please note that distributing these materials to your clients commits you and your agency to the task of providing

New Americans, New Promise: A Guide to the Refugee Journey in America by Yorn Yan

Author Yorn Yan describes the refugee experience in the United States and how to best help refugees through the acculturation and transition process of becoming a New American. Nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, religious groups and businesses will find that the stories, tips, tools, and advice in this book will help them better understand the refugee experience so they can create programs and services that work.

The book is published by the Fieldstone Alliance.


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