Tags: Peace Corps | rape | volunteers | Congress

Peace Corps Volunteers Allege Rape Reports Downplayed

Wednesday, 11 May 2011 02:55 PM

Peace Corps volunteers are telling Congress this week of being raped while serving overseas and then coming home to a hostile bureaucracy that effectively blamed them for what happened, The New York Times reports. A hearing today aimed to investigate allegations that the Peace Corps mishandled and shunted aside sexual assault complaints, said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“These women are alone in many cases, and they’re in rough parts of the world,” said Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, who is sponsoring a bill to reform how the 50-year-old organization treats rape victims among its volunteers.


An average of 22 women a year reported rapes or attempted rapes from 2000 to 2009, according to the Peace Corps' own figures. Experts say many cases go unreported out of fear or shame. Women who did complain alleged that Peace Corps counselors all but accused them of encouraging their attackers, especially if they said they had been drinking alcohol when the assaults occurred.


The Peace Corps, which President John F. Kennedy founded to promote global outreach and U.S. goodwill abroad, has 8,655 overseas volunteers and trainees, male and female, ranging in age from 21 to 86.


The plight of rape victims in the Peace Corps went largely unreported until some affected volunteers began speaking out and using social media to connect with other victims. One, Casey Freeze, formed an advocacy group called First Response Action that has lobbied the Peace Corps to make changes in its training videos and counseling programs.

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

FBI Probes Powdery Substance Mailed to Franklin Graham Charity

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 22:56 PM

The FBI Friday said it was investigating a letter containing a white powdery substance that was mailed to the headquarte . . .

Report: FBI Had Secret Cold War Plan for Martial Law

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 22:45 PM

The FBI reportedly came up with a top-secret, though short-lived, plan for preserving national security in case of a nuc . . .

Americans Love Lower Gas Prices, but They're Pocketing Savings

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 22:26 PM

Americans are saving about $60 a month from lower gas prices - but they're not spending much of it. The Wall Street Jour . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved