On January 14, ABC News aired a 20/20 segment about sexual assault, rape and homicide in Peace Corps. First Response Action commends the bravery of the women who shared their stories. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Kate Puzey, who lost her life in March 2009 while serving as a Volunteer in West Africa.
First Response Action is a grassroots mission operated by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Collaborating with ABC News on this piece was a credible way to shed light on the important issue of rape and sexual assault on a much larger scale. I want to thank the producers and staff in the Investigative News Unit at ABC News and 20/20 for their attention to this important issue.
Since the taping of the segment, First Response Action Coalition members met with Peace Corps and they shared with us the ways that they are strengthening their support of Volunteers within the context of sexual assault and rape. They are beginning to implement policy changes to reflect this commitment and we at First Response Action are cautiously optimistic about the progress. It is significant to note that each survivor on the 20/20 panel expressed their support of Peace Corps as an organization, as well as the desperate need for review of current rape and sexual assault policy and protocol.
Kathy Rulon, Senior Adviser to the Chief of Staff at Peace Corps, said in an email to First Response Action, “We appreciate your commitment to supporting Volunteer survivors of rape and sexual assault. We … look forward to continued communication and mutual support.”
First Response Action is firmly committed to Volunteer survivors, who are the human cost of the current and past inadequate protocol. We are enthused about working more closely with Peace Corps to make change that benefit survivors of physical and sexual violence, while improving training worldwide. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us email@example.com
First Response Action Coalition Members
Casey Frazee, RPCV South Africa; Founder, First Response Action
Karen Moldovan, RPCV Tonga
Kate Finn, RPCV Costa Rica
Jess Smochek, RPCV Bangladesh
Meg Long, RPCV Kenya
Katie Campbell, RPCV Tonga