Since 2003, each year an average of 4% of the 6,000 to 8,000 Peace Corps Volunteers who serve annually are assaulted, raped, kidnapped or otherwise sexually or physically violated. It is clear from survivor testimonies that Peace Corps must improve its response to these Volunteers who experience sexual and physical violence.
The First Response Action Coalition, comprised of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, recommends a Seven Point Plan of action steps that Peace Corps can take to catalyze comprehensive medical, training and policy reform that will help better support current and future Volunteers.
Volunteers were placed “at greater risk because the agency did not ensure that posts fully implemented required safety and security policies.”
- Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General safety audit, released April 2009
• As reported in the Peace Corps’ 2007 Annual Report on Volunteer Safety: “Over the last ten year period, the incidence rate of other sexual assaults has steadily increased.”
• In 2008, there were 312* reported cases of rape, sexual assault, physical assault, kidnapping and death threats by Peace Corps Volunteers.
• From 2007-2008, rapes and attempted rapes rose by 29%* and major sexual assault increased by 58%.*
• More than 4 percent* of Peace Corps Volunteers were victims of physical or sexual assault, death threats or kidnapping in 2008.
• Many Peace Corps in-country posts have not developed clear reporting and response procedures for incidents such as responding to sexual harassment. (Government Accountability Office, 2002, http://tinyurl.com/gao2002)
• Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, with 60% still left unreported. (Department of Justice, 2005)
*Statistic taken from the 2008 Annual Report on Volunteer Safety
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