Promoting Safety with our Clients

This Measured Impact Webinar is part of the National Capacity Building project series of webinars. It was presented on January 18, 2017 and features Nancy Murakami and John Wilkinson of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture.


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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Service providers who work with survivors of torture and forced migration know that their clients face many challenges in navigating environments that feel unsafe and out of their control. Concerns about their safety and their family's safety may be associated with living in a high-crime neighborhood, where "there is nothing 'post' about PTSD"; with fearing the police or other people in uniforms due to their trauma triggers; or with concerns about what seems to be an increase in anti-immigration rhetoric and the larger and, for now unanswerable, concerns around immigration and deportation.  At our torture treatment programs, clients have wondered: As a non-citizen might I be deported? Will my Muslim family members be able to enter the United States? Safety concerns manifest in a wide range of ways and can be addressed in a variety of supportive, collaborative, creative ways. This webinar focuses on psychosocial and immigration-related strategies for identifying and addressing safety-related stressors of our clients.

Staff of all disciplines are encouraged to attend.

This webinar is followed by the e-consultation that goes into more depth with case examples.


1.   Increase understanding of torture survivors' actual and perceived threats to safety and the strengths and challenges that torture survivors have in analyzing and understanding risks for them and their families
2.    Gain new psychosocial and immigration-related strategies for working with clients who have concerns about safety
3.    Learn about supportive resources and ways to locate and develop community resources 

Session 1:  In this first session of the two-part training, we focus on articulating ways in which our clients may feel unsafe and how that distress may manifest,  and share psychosocial and immigration-related strategies for identifying and addressing safety-related stressors of our clients.

Session 2:  In this second session of this two-part training, we will share case examples for interactive discussion.  


Know Your Rights

Note that some rights and advice may vary state to state; consult your local ACLU if you have questions.

Tools and Information

From Welcoming America,  an ORR TA provider that “looks to provide refugee resettlement organizations with the tools and support needed to enhance and sustain their community engagement and public awareness work in local communities, deepen their practices and local collaborations, and develop broader support for refugees, which is essential to refugees’ longer-term civic, linguistic, and economic integration.”

  • Stand Together Toolkit:  Messaging about Muslims and Refugees in a Challenging Time
  • Reframing Refugees:  A toolkit is designed to help people working with and on behalf of recent refugees to deliver strong messages that will encourage community leaders and policy-makers to take action to support refugees in their area

The Spring Institute for intercultural learning and welcoming America. Downs-Karkos, S. (2011). The receiving communities toolkit: A guide for engaging mainstream America in immigrant integration

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.


Other Resources

Related webinar

Emergency & Psychological Preparedness: Supporting Survivors and Ourselves During Crises


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