The Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture (VAST) was founded in 1986 by activists and mental health workers in Vancouver, west coast Canada, to support refugees arriving from armed conflicts in Central America.
Today it is one of Canada’s largest refugee rehabilitation centres, serving survivors from over 100 countries in 12 languages. Research suggests one in three refugees arriving in the West have suffered torture.
“We know at VAST that healing is an act of resistance,” says Executive Director Frank Cohn. “Resistance against the impunity with which so much violence and torture is committed throughout the world … Here in this quiet corner of the world we have an opportunity to come together as a community and raise our voices collectively about some of these injustices that our community members experience.”