Peace Corps Failed Volunteers When They Became Rape Victims

600px-US-PeaceCorps-Logo.svgPeace Corps is in the business to help “countless individuals who want to build a better life for themselves, their children, and their communities.” But do they help their volunteers? Numerous cases have come forward about women who have been raped and threatened after being positioned in another country. In many cases, the organization knew about the assaults but ignored them stating that “those types of things happen.”  The Raw Story reports:

A group of former volunteers who were raped while working with the Peace Corps told Congress Wednesday that serious changes need to be made to the organization.

The victims explained that in many cases, the way they were treated by the Peace Corps after reporting the assault was more traumatic than the rape itself.

“These women are alone in many cases, and they’re in rough parts of the world,” Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) told The New York Times prior to the hearing.

Jessica Smochek told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that she was raped in 2004, at the age of 23, after being deployed to Bangladesh.

“The Peace Corps said that we might experience harassment during our posting, but that it just took some getting used to,” she explained.

[Continues at The Raw Story]

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  • Anonymous

    This isn’t at all surprising. Peace corps’ entire purpose is trying to helping people in other countries, and that’s all well and good. However neither the people donating money nor the volunteers realize that the cultures they’re going to do not necessarily share all the same views as Americans.

    Peace activists in Middle Eastern countries have been encountering many sexual assaults because women dressing in ways that are common in the West is culturally considered to be a sign of promiscuity. In such cultures where women’s rights are not so common, the men feel free to do as they want. Those organizations, much as the peace corps has done, keep these incidents quiet, in part because it would harm the image of their mission, and they would not get as much money or volunteers if the problems were known.

  • SF2K01

    This isn’t at all surprising. Peace corps’ entire purpose is trying to helping people in other countries, and that’s all well and good. However neither the people donating money nor the volunteers realize that the cultures they’re going to do not necessarily share all the same views as Americans.

    Peace activists in Middle Eastern countries have been encountering many sexual assaults because women dressing in ways that are common in the West is culturally considered to be a sign of promiscuity. In such cultures where women’s rights are not so common, the men feel free to do as they want. Those organizations, much as the peace corps has done, keep these incidents quiet, in part because it would harm the image of their mission, and they would not get as much money or volunteers if the problems were known.

  • mrtastycakes

    What’s there to live for?

    Who needs the peace corps?

  • mrtastycakes

    What’s there to live for?

    Who needs the peace corps?

    • mrtastycakes

      Sorry. Insensitive and irrelevant, but the song just popped into my head. You know how it is.

  • mrtastycakes

    Sorry. Insensitive and irrelevant, but the song just popped into my head. You know how it is.

  • Hadrian999

    lots of these relief and humanitarian orgs don’t protect their own people at all. things like this would be very rare if they practiced good security protocols, never travel alone or even in small groups and always have experienced security personnel.any time you hear about an aid worker being kidnapped, attacked, or killed it is the fault of the organization for not using proper security protocol.

  • Hadrian999

    lots of these relief and humanitarian orgs don’t protect their own people at all. things like this would be very rare if they practiced good security protocols, never travel alone or even in small groups and always have experienced security personnel.any time you hear about an aid worker being kidnapped, attacked, or killed it is the fault of the organization for not using proper security protocol.

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