Survivor Healing & Empowerment Program


Our Survivor Healing and Empowerment Program is built upon a set of core beliefs of how we view violence, institutional racism, trauma and healing.

Guiding Principles

We understand that the stress of discrimination, harassment and state violence can be race-based and traumatizing.  Therefore the sources of harm are environmental and individuals and staff must be empowered to minimize or eliminate these sources of harm.

We recognize that the impact of state violence is felt at individual, family, and community levels and consequently requires interventions across these levels.

We acknowledge that some members of communities of color have no direct, personal experience of police violence, and yet remain traumatized by the over-policing and institutional racism they live through on a daily basis.

We believe that trauma (direct or indirect) lives in our bodies and hearts and require a culturally appropriate expanded definition of what healing looks like. In addition to one-on-one, family and group counseling, healing also looks like connecting to our bodies. It looks like celebrating and building with one another, or like telling our truths and being believed.

We assert that helping individuals and communities heal from state violence and institutional racism is integral component of justice work.

Through this lens, our therapeutic approaches include:

  • Trauma-Informed Care: An approach that recognizes the potential for re-traumatization in service delivery and that emphasizes safety, trust, and transparency.
  • Psychosocial Accompaniment: An approach that centers the respect for and dignity of the survivor, and emphasizes the cultural and historical nature of harm.
  • Harm Reduction: An approach that destigmatizes behavior and uses a spectrum of strategies to cope.
  • Community Counseling: An approach that recognizes that an individual’s psychological development is closely aligned with the nature and behavior of social institutions. These institutions can impair or improve the wellness of individuals, families and communities. Healing activities must develop awareness of the role of social institutions in the lives and health of community members.

Our Services

The Chicago Torture Justice Center recognizes that the impact of police torture and violence is felt across many levels and requires interventions at these levels. Services are offered directly to our participants and the broader community in order to influence the environmental factors that harm our members. They include:

  • Individual
    • One-on-one therapy
    • Case management
    • Referrals to somatic healers for massage, acupuncture, etc.
  • Family
    • Family therapy
  • Group
    • Support groups
  • Community
    • Community events
    • Monthly RISE community meeting held the second Saturday of every month for individuals impacted by police violence to build community and organize towards a collective vision
    • Survivor and Family Member Advisory Council (SFAC) – leadership body of survivors and family members
    • Speakers Bureau – space for healing, community education and engagement through storytelling

Call the Center at 773-962-0395 for further information or to set up an appointment. We can also be reached by email at

Connect With Us
641 W. 63rd Street
Chicago, IL 60621
Ph: (773) 962-0395