In recent years, the arrival in Italy of people who suffered torture in their countries led a group of volunteer doctors to set up a humanitarian association, "Doctors Against Torture", to provide care and treatment for torture survivors present in Rome. The paper describes the characteristics of 354 persons having at least one access from 1-1-1999 to 31-12-2001. About 51% of the victims came from the Middle East, 43% from Africa. Mean age was 29.6 (SD 7.0). The victims have suffered beatings and other forms of blunt trauma (64%), suspension and other positional torture (14%), psychological violence (28%), inhuman conditions of detention (10%), burns/electric shock (21%), wet asphyxiation and water jets (11%), sexual violence (15%), amputation/penetrating injuries (22%), dental torture and traumatic removal of nails (6%) and 58% suffered more than one type of torture. The types of violence observed require a thorough analysis of our knowledge in the field, in order to help victims on their way to rehabilitation, which is long and uncertain; at the same time, it is fundamental that public health begins to make itself responsible for these persons.