The Human Rights Office Kandy uses the Ceremonial Delivery of Testimonies as a therapeutic tool with the torture survivors and their family members with its initiation to Sri Lanka from 2008. The use of the therapeutic tool is adapted to our culture, validated with the positive and clinical outcome confirms the reliability of the instrument. Testimony Therapy is based on the lived experience of the testimony of former political prisoners in Chile. It has been developed and used in treatment of traumatized victims of war and other organized violence in different countries for a variety of traumatized population.
It was a significant event for a big number of audiences to witness the Testimony Therapy of Shiva Kumar and his family members on 26th June 2014, the International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture. Shiva Kumar Family was welcomed to the ceremony by our survivor families’ torture.
In the treatment protocol the priority goes to the traumatizing experiences and events of the stories of the victims. The stories of the testimony were presented in a creative manner making use of visual presentations. The audience and the Shiva Kumar family found that it was more meaningful, and touching to present the testimonies in visual forms.
Presenting the trauma stories with encouragement made much of a difference when a young survivor of torture encouraged the Shiva Kumar family with his own life experiences. He brought out clearly what it means to be tortured, and to go through the continuous trauma in day to day life. Further he said life after trauma is like a rebirth.
Rev. Fr. Nandana encouraged the family giving assurance of his support in their struggle to recover from trauma, and assisted them to rethink some of their expectations and ideals in terms of the reality of the rule of law in our country.
The audience greeted the family wishing them strength and courage and hope for a better future.