The worst scars are in the mind : deconstructing psychological torture
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Mental Torture is an especially grave violation of human rights because, in its various forms, its ultimate objective is to annul the very identity and personality of the victim. While the physical injuries produced by torture are likely to heal, mental suffering is much more pervasive and likely to persist. The devastating health consequences of threats and fear, humiliation, sensory deprivation and social isolation are evident through the literature, observations of clinicians and reports from victims themselves. This study adopts a multi-faceted approach to a multi-faceted problem, that is, understanding and interpreting psychological torture. It does so on the premise that there is no obstacle, in principle, as to why the law should not accommodate input from other disciplines.Torture, in all its forms, is a complex phenomenon with interacting social, cultural, political, medical, psychological, and biological dimensions. If it is to be eradicated, it is important that a more universal consensus be reached on the assessment of mental suffering inflicted by the forms of ill-treatment considered in this study.