Before obtaining a detailed account of events, elicit summary information, including dates, places, duration of detention, frequency and duration of torture sessions. A summary will help to make effective use of time. In some cases where survivors have been tortured on multiple occasions, they may be able to recall what happened to them, but often can not recall exactly where and when each event occurred. In such circumstances, it may be advisable to elicit the historical account by methods of abuse rather than as a series of events during specific arrests.
Similarly, in taking a history it may often be useful to have “what happened where” documented as much as possible. “Holding places” are often operated by different security/police/armed forces, and what events happened in different places may be useful to get a full picture of the torture system. Obtaining a map of where the torture occurred may be useful in piecing together different histories from different people. This will often prove very useful for the overall evaluation.