Behavior: Salvaging Victims of Torture

For survivors, the road back is filled with painful memories

In Toronto, a Latin American refugee, 26, froze in terror when a well-wisher brought him a gift basket that included two pineapples. In the refugee's native country, he had been forced to watch as his military captor hacked several prisoners to death, then carved up a ripe pineapple with the bloodstained machete and calmly ate the slices.

For victims of torture, the world is a minefield of horrifying memories. One woman panics whenever she sees a dark Ford like the one that hauled her away to severe beatings and a gang rape. Some survivors have trouble entering bathrooms, because the tile,...

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