Kolbassia Haoussou: Pathway to recover: From torture chamber to sanctuary

In this lecture Kolbassia will discuss the various stages individuals on the road to sanctuary face. From the initial stage of needing to be as far away from experiences faced, when all your feelings dissipate and survival mode kicks in. To the moments when life becomes still and silent, and you have finally achieved this notion of ‘safety’ and you begin to feel. Depression kicks in, along with a realisation that your life has changed drastically, and you have to begin to heal alone. He will then speak on what comes after finding sanctuary, the journey to self-recovery and healing beyond formal therapy. The journey to recovery is long, dealing with the mental, emotional and physical scars left behind from surviving torture. As well as figuring out how to move on with life after torture and its aftermath once rehabilitated.

Kolbassia Haoussou MBE began his career in campaigning and advocating by co-founding Survivor Speak OUT (SSO) – a network led by survivors, campaigning for survivors. SSO soon came under the umbrella of Freedom from Torture, with Kolbassia as SSO Coordinator. Kolbassia was and has been instrumental in building Freedom from Tortures’ survivor activism and making sure survivors were centred in all aspects of the organisation.

After over 10 years of working at Freedom from Torture in the capacity of SSO Coordinator, Service User Champion and acting Survivor Activism Lead, Kolbassia is now the department head for the organisations newly founded Survivor Empowerment directorate.

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Event information


21 Apr 2021


2:15 pm


Wednesday Lecture - online