Measure would authorize torture victim support programs

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) has introduced a bill that would authorize torture treatment programs.

Smith said the legislation would help people in the U.S. and abroad who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and depression after enduring torture. 

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"The lives of millions of people have been irrevocably harmed by various forms of torture – be they physical or psychological, and we must use all necessary and available resources to help these victims recover and resume their lives as best they can," Smith said in a statement. "Torturers win when we stand by and allow their victims to continue to suffer."

The measure would also provide training for foreign service officers to help torture victims.

Specifically, the bill would authorize $50 million for domestic treatment centers and $24 million for foreign treatment centers over the course of fiscal 2015 through 2016.

The last Torture Victims Reauthorization Act was in 2007, when the House passed it 418-7.

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