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Workshops on assessment of psychological harm in victims of crime in El Salvador

San Salvador, November 25, 2022. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conducted workshops on "Assessment of psychological and psychosocial harm in victims of crime", aimed at professionals on behavioral sciences from the Institute of Forensic Medicine of El Salvador.

The activity took place from November 21 to 25 in the framework of the project "Strengthening the implementation of case management tools for disappearances and torture of women, men and youth related to organized crime", implemented from 2020 to 2023 with the financial support of the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) of the Government of Canada.

The workshops were delivered by Dr. Genny Elizabeth Apraez, psychologist and expert of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Colombia; to strengthen technical capacities of 25 professionals in psychology, psychiatry and social work of the Department of Behavioral Sciences of the Institute of Legal Medicine of El Salvador.

During the different sessions, the participants addressed the evaluation of psychological damage with a differential approach; the psychological report; and the application of international tools such as the updated Istanbul Protocol, which includes procedures for documenting the crime of torture and its consequences.

The objective of the training promoted by UNODC was to update knowledge and address good practices for the evaluation of victims of crimes with a differential approach.

"I find it very interesting and of great importance for the application it can have in our social environment. It will be of great help to forensic personnel," said Victoria Núñez de Andino, a participant in the course.

Soraya Estefanie Miranda, beneficiary of the activity, indicated that "the course has been very valuable for our forensic practice, since it will give us competencies in the development of our practice as professionals".

The activity was carried out in the framework of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25) with the aim of recognizing the adverse psychological effects of violence against women and girls, as well as the negative consequences for their rights in cases of disappearances and torture.