There are stories that are hard to tell. Those who suffer violence often do not have the ability to ask for help, nor the strength to speak out. And silence is a burden that weighs you down, that paralyzes, that becomes entrenched and that haunts you. Narrating a violent episode means having to face the trauma, guilt, stigma, and shame of being considered a victim. To face all that pain, you need to feel accompanied.
At Centro Sir[a] we have been doing this work for many years. We accompany so that people can regain control of their lives, their stories, their truth, and their silences. It depends on your support that we can continue to break them.
Accompanying to break the silence
Violence is a threat, an act that manages to install fear in your life and in those around you, that seeks to silence people and serve as a warning. When you suffer violence, it produces breaks that do not always leave physical marks, but that do annul you, isolate you and silence you. With it comes guilt: the remorse of having stood up or not standing up to the threat, and the shame of having suffered it. In addition, those who have the monopoly of the violence continually take away your voice. They are noisy people, to whom nothing seems violent enough to be considered violence. Silence and violence always go together.
For us, breaking the silence means facing all the above. It means rejecting humiliation, guilt and lies, and accompanying people until they find meaning in their experience. Help them regain control of their lives and stories. For us, breaking the silence means standing up to those who produce this violence and demanding justice and reparation. Our goal is to keep reporting every case of abuse, violence, and torture, while continuing to support the justice and rehabilitation processes of those affected. With your support, we will be able to make our entity a sustainable resource and to keep guaranteeing the psychosocial and legal support of those who come to our center. Join us breaking the silence.
Become a member of the Sir[a] Center.
Description of the project. Main features, strengths and differentials.
Sir[a] is a Center for Attention to Victims of Ill Treatment and Torture, dedicated to offer therapeutic, legal, and psychosocial support. Since its foundation, the entity has assisted and accompanied more than 900 people directly or indirectly affected by human rights violations.
As a human rights center, this organization supports the processes of justice and reparation of victims of violence and accompanies their rehabilitation by offering comprehensive therapeutic care. Sir[a] assists people who have suffered abuses during the expression of social movements and demonstrations; accompanies people on the move who have suffered episodes of torture during their migratory journey; or denounces and accompanies cases related to police abuse inside state prisons, among others. In all these scenarios, the organization is responsible for both documenting and carrying out forensic tests to support the victims' complaints, as well as providing the necessary clinical care for their psychological and psychiatric rehabilitation. Since its foundation in 2011, the organization has prepared more than 300 expert reports as defense and complaint instruments, to establish itself as a group of professionals of international reference.
Sir[a] is made up of professionals from various disciplines, such as medicine, psychiatry, psychology, body therapy or traditional healing. The entity, which has teams in Madrid and Barcelona, is governed by the principle of universal care, which means that our team offers its support to people who need it, regardless of where they come from, their administrative situation or their economic income.
Why this is important
Our goal is to keep guaranteeing the rehabilitation process of people affected by political violence, and to continue preparing expert reports as an instrument of defense and advocacy, without neglecting comprehensive therapeutic work. Once again, we seek to continue being part of training spaces together with professional groups and teams, always committed to integrating a psychosocial, transcultural, gender and anti-racist perspective in our actions.
Aware of the importance of continuing to accompany people who suffer human rights violations, this coming year we seek to raise the stakes even more, strengthening our team and generating new spaces and projects. Always, aware of our duty to continue warning and denouncing that torture and ill-treatment are practices that, despite escaping the social imaginary, are still in force and rooted among the different security apparatuses around the world.
With your contribution we will be able to sustain our resource for another year, without depending exclusively on private funds or public subsidies, guaranteeing our economic and political independence. With you, we will continue to support people to break their silence.
We have extensive experience in accompanying people who have suffered serious human rights violations, ill-treatment and torture. During the last year alone, we carried out the expert examination of both Julio Pacheco and Rosa García, the first victims of the Franco regime to be taken to testify in court for torture, and of other plaintiffs in the same case; the expert report on the residents of Cañada Real Galiana, which accredits the impacts that the power cut has on their population. and that it was filed as part of a collective complaint that was submitted to the European Committee of Social Rights; or the expert report that supports the complaint of Djack, a young man who denounces the Civil Guard for beating him during a jump to the Melilla Fence, causing him to lose an eye. Our team also prepared the expert report that was key in the resolution of a historic sentence, which compensated with half a million euros to a couple imprisoned for "jihadism", despite being innocent.
Last year, the Sir[a] Center also submitted a report to the Human Rights Committee to consider the wife and daughters of Emil Bustamante, who was forcibly disappeared in Guatemala in 1982, as victims of torture. In addition, we were experts for the indigenous and Afro-descendant communities that denounced the State of Nicaragua before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; and we led the drafting of a Shadow Report, which compiles various violations committed by the Spanish State as a signatory country to the Convention against Torture, which we presented together with various organizations at the UN headquarters in Geneva.
Since our founding, we have treated more than 900 patients, taken part in more than 300 expert reports, and participated in around 60 litigations. Always, thanks to the efforts of our technical team and volunteers. Our centre is made up of professionals in psychology, psychiatry, law, administrative management, communication, traditional healing, and body therapy. We want to count on you to continue working and, with it, continue to accompany and defend more people. Join us and become a member of the Sir[a] Center.