Psychological Evaluations in Asylum Cases and Crime Victims


The experiences of subjugation by violent acts can be one of the most significant factors in the weakening and breaking of the psychological balance of a person.

The psychological weakening resulting from traumatic events develops in two stages, and between these stages there is a gap that can be described as a state of suspension where the subject renounces all interest in his present and future, leaving his psyche attached to a fragment from the past.

Victims of political violence or combatants

Experiencing situations of extreme stress such as fighting in a war, suffering torture or political persecution are some of the most extreme experiences that a human being can experience. Being exposed to the situation of killing or dying, torturing or being tortured, changes people forever.

When these extreme situations pass and you can return home, the difficulties do not end: the tension and stress of war leave serious psychological scars on thousands of people every year. The most widespread pathological disorder is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, characterized by a state of extreme anxiety with symptoms of physiological hyperactivation, flashbacks -very vivid memories of the most painful moments- and avoidance behaviors. It can be accompanied by depressive symptoms, insomnia, irritability, and a continual sense of danger.

It is estimated that between 20 and 50% of ex-combatants may suffer from Traumatic Stress Disorder, figures that are higher if the person has been tortured.


Long-term complications of improper treatment include personality changes, social isolation, violent tendencies, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide (6,000 deaths a year in the United States, more deaths by suicide after returning from war than during it).

The American Psychiatric Association defines treatment standards for post-traumatic stress disorder, and EMDR is an ideal therapy; EMDR has been declared a highly effective procedure by the US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND VETERANS AFFAIRS, as well as by the departments of mental health in NORTHERN IRELAND and ISRAEL.

According to Carlson et al. (1998), following 12 sessions of EMDR therapy, 77.7% of combat veterans had fewer symptoms and no longer satisfied the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. There were no relapses, and the effects lasted for three and nine months, respectively. to view interesting studies

Refugees and political asylum seekers and psychological evaluations.

Asylum seekers must bear the burden of proof say provide reasonably available evidence to support their credibility) and the burden of persuasion (i.e., if a judge or commission feels they cannot tell whether or not the applicant is telling the truth, they need not grant the benefit of the doubt). In addition, and in accordance with the refugee definition, you must demonstrate that you are at high risk of future persecution (with the discretion that the high term implies) and that you have no way of coping (that is, that any person in your same circumstances would have the same or greater fear of being persecuted). All these facts help explain the huge difference in the number of threatened people recognized as asylum seekers.

In this framework, the existence of evidence of mistreatment or torture would constitute one of the fundamental elements on which the institutions would base their decisions. But in most cases, these types of stories are considered “untested”.

In some cases, doctors, psychologists, or psychiatrists are usually asked to make an evidentiary analysis of the existence of persecution or torture based on the possible consequences.

refugees and asylum seekers

The psychiatrist or psychologist would thus resolve the problems of the burden of proof, the burden of persuasion, and perceived risk.

As it is not often that these are permanent, a credibility analysis of the applicant’s account of persecution is then requested from the professional, assuming that there may be symptoms and signs of a physical or psychological nature that are pathognomonic of certain forms of torture or cruel and inhuman treatment. , and that if these were presented, the psychiatrist could give the story as credible. The psychiatrist or psychologist would thus resolve the problems of the burden of proof, the burden of persuasion, and perceived risk.

The psychological or psychiatric expertise thus becomes a basic piece. It is sought, in particular, that the psychiatrist issues a credible opinion according to:

a) a detailed clinical history, which is consistent;

b) a recount of symptoms that make up an expected, plausible and consistent constellation within the social and cultural context of the subject;

c) an adequate concordance between what is narrated in the clinical history and the symptoms that the person presents.

The role of the psychologist is to attend to the aspects of credibility, especially when, from models that work from the other, credibility is precisely a very insignificant element in psychotherapy with victims of abuse or torture.

Women and children who are victims of human trafficking may suffer serious repercussions after fleeing and/or once they return

domestic violence

Human trafficking for prostitution or forced sexual exploitation is a form of persecution.

Some child or female victims of human trafficking may qualify as refugees under the 1951 Convention. Recruitment or forced recruitment or tricking women or minors into prostitution or sexual exploitation is a form of gender-based violence or abuse that can even lead to death.

It can be considered a form of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

It can also impose serious restrictions on a woman’s freedom of movement, due to the kidnapping, imprisonment, or confiscation of passports and other documents of ID. In addition, women and children who are victims of human trafficking may suffer serious repercussions after fleeing and/or once they return, such as retaliation by individuals or networks of traffickers, the real likelihood of re-trafficking, serious ostracism by the community and family, or severe discrimination. In individual cases, being trafficked for forced prostitution or sexual exploitation could therefore be the basis for requesting refugee status when the State is unable or unwilling to provide protection against such harm or threats.

Psychological evaluations and reports issued by an expert are fundamental pieces in asylum cases, Visa U and Visa T.

It is at this point where Dr. Benejam (expert psychologist in Immigration cases), can be your best help so that you can win your immigration case.

If you or a family member is going through any of the immigration processes mentioned above, do not hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Benejam at (800) 593-6109. Do not wait more! Your immigration status is serious business and this may be the missing piece of your case.