The Helen Bamber Foundation is a UK-based human rights organisation
We help to mend what was broken in a safe and supportive environment
We help people who have experienced torture, trafficking and other forms of cruelty.
‘I am what I am today because of Helen Bamber Foundation.’ – Anita, survivor.
The Helen Bamber Foundation is a human rights charity based in London which was founded in 2005. Our specialist team of therapists, doctors and legal experts hold an international reputation for providing therapeutic care, medical consultation, legal protection and practical support to survivors of human rights violations.
HBF grew from the recognition that people who have suffered prolonged inter-personal violence – whether from human trafficking, war, community, domestic or gender-based violence – present with similar physical and psychological symptoms to torture survivors and experience the same complex and enduring responses to trauma. The specialised and integrated model of care and support that Helen and her colleagues had developed over decades for people who had suffered state torture, could therefore be extended to include a wider range of survivors.
“I ﬁnd that gradually my clients come to trust me, but this takes time. It relies upon my understanding them: where they are from, their experiences, how they feel, what they believe.” – Helen Bamber
We work with the most vulnerable and marginalised people in our society, those who are haunted by memories of entrapment, rape and torture and who suffer debilitating flashbacks and nightmares. They have often lost the crucial ability to trust, and form positive relationships with others. We help our clients gradually establish a therapeutic relationship of trust which can eventually enable them to form safe, restorative and stabilising relationships in the wider community. This is an intricate process, essential for survivors’ safety, well-being and ability to re-build and move forward with their lives.
Integrated care includes assistance with welfare, housing and legal protection. Our clients often face ongoing problems relating to poverty, destitution or unsafe housing, as well as having to cope with complex and distressing legal procedures. Some have been imprisoned or detained in the UK or in other countries, or are suffering continuing threats from traffickers and other perpetrators against themselves and their families. We stay focused on the ‘here and now’ of our clients’ lives, adjusting the care we give in accordance with changing circumstances and challenges that they face.
Our ambition is to create and share a model of care for survivors which is accessible to clinicians and practitioners everywhere. Quality of care, support and protection given to the most vulnerable people in any community helps to break the inter-generational impact of human rights violations and shines a light on the identity and actions of perpetrators.
For detailed information on Helen Bamber Foundation and how we work, please click here for our recent OSCE publication: Trafficking in Human Beings Amounting to Torture and other Forms of Ill-Treatment.