Peace corps. covers up rapes

billc

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A story that ran today about the sexual assaults against women who travel over seas with the peace corps. Allegations from the victims suggest that the corps. tried to cover up the rapes and did not do anything to prevent future assaults. Here is the story:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/peace-corps-gang-rape-volunteer-jess-smochek-us/story?id=12599341

from the story:

In some cases, victims say, the Peace Corps has ignored safety concerns and later tried to blame the women who were raped for bringing on the attacks.
"I have two daughters now and I would never ever let them join the Peace Corps," said Adrianna Ault Nolan of New York, who was raped while serving in Haiti.
She is one of six rape and sexual assault victims who agreed to tell their stories, in hopes the Peace Corps will do a better job of volunteer training and victim counseling. The report will be broadcast Friday night on 20/20.
 

WC_lun

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This is very troubling. To blame the victim or cover up the crime is terrible. I think we can all agree with that. The Peace Cor does very good work and I would hate to see something like this stop that good work.
 

Twin Fist

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if they are covering up rapes, then all federal funding must stop and the organization should be sued out of existance.
 

Nomad

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Heard about this story awhile back, and agree that it's appalling, and that they should do more to protect their employees.

Covering up the incidents or blaming the victim are unconscionable; hopefully those affected will be able to lay charges or win civil suits against the individuals and the organization responsible.
 

Twin Fist

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havnt heard about Blackwater covering up rapes, if they did, and not ONE but multiple, like peace corps, then all funding shoud stop and they should be sued out of existance
 

Big Don

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havnt heard about Blackwater covering up rapes, if they did, and not ONE but multiple, like peace corps, then all funding shoud stop and they should be sued out of existance
QFT
Not to mention it would be front page news...
 

RandomPhantom700

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An appalling situation. The article reports over 1000 victims, and it sounds like the system put in place was a negligent one at the very least. There's an assumed risk with the work, but that's no excuse for trying to blame the victims, especially when there's over 1000 reported cases. I'd thought at first that there was only a handful of cases, but when the numbers reach so high, it was someone's job to step forward and say "We have a problem," and not just bury it in red tape.

I share WC_lun's concern in that I hope the Peace Corp. is able to clean house and properly compensate the victims without being completely shut down.
 

cdunn

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QFT
Not to mention it would be front page news...

It was, it was just Halliburton/KBR, not Blackwater. Of course, KBR puts a clause in its employee contracts stating that the women have to agree to arbitration in rape cases rather than suing in the open court, so we have no idea what the real numbers are.

In any case, it sounds like the Peace Corps is having a real problem protecting female volunteers from the locals, which is a pretty ****** situation to be in, for everyone. That situation needs resolved, and it would be unfortunate if that resolution is the termination of the program. Suspension of activites until resolution might be called for as well. At the very least, someone should probably be nailed to the wall.
 

Steve

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So, are you guys suggesting that the Peace Corps as an organization has a policy that encourages rape and endorses blaming the victim? In other words, the implication is that this is systemic and tacitly endorsed. I'm not sure I've seen enough to agree.

Also, for what it's worth, I've known several people who have been involved with the Peace Corps and they're all quality individuals. A friend of mine was in the Peace Corps and her stories about what they did and how they operate are extremely positive. She's not the kind of person who would stay quiet about it, either. I understand that this is anecdotal. I just have a very good impression of what the Peace Corps does and the kinds of kids who sign up.

If individuals are involved in raping women and covering it up, those people need to be dealt with, all the way up the line. But implying that this is a matter of policy without ample evidence is lame.

Now, if you could produce something establishing that the Peace Corps has a clause in their contract in which women are prohibited from filing charges of rape, I might have to agree that they're trash and should be cut from the government payroll. But that would NEVER happen. Right? Oh...
 

RandomPhantom700

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So, are you guys suggesting that the Peace Corps as an organization has a policy that encourages rape and endorses blaming the victim? In other words, the implication is that this is systemic and tacitly endorsed. I'm not sure I've seen enough to agree.

...

If individuals are involved in raping women and covering it up, those people need to be dealt with, all the way up the line. But implying that this is a matter of policy without ample evidence is lame.

Now, if you could produce something establishing that the Peace Corps has a clause in their contract in which women are prohibited from filing charges of rape, I might have to agree that they're trash and should be cut from the government payroll. But that would NEVER happen. Right? Oh...

I don't think anyone's said it's encouraged by the Peace Corps., or that the agency is in favor of having its volunteers gang raped. What the article (and the 20/20 investigation it relies on) alleges is that the Peace Corps. response to these rapes has been deflection, avoidance, and gloss overs rather than directly addressing the problem and compensating the victims.

Again, I have to point to the fact that there's over 1000 reported cases of rape involved. If we were talking about a handful, or maybe even 100, cases, you could maybe chalk (chock?) it up to the inevitable result of working in risky environments, or anomolous circumstances, but 1000 instances? Something needs fixing that isn't being fixed, and there's a reason for it. The fact that it's not in the policy doesn't absolve Peace Corps. of blame if they're failing to do what they should be doing.
 

WC_lun

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The Peace Cor is a quality program and should not be defunded. Perhaps suspended until something can e out in place to address the concerns. Getting rid of the Peace cor all thogether would be like cutting of your nose to spite your face, unless you believe the Peace Cor is not a good program and this just an excuse needed to defund it.
 

Empty Hands

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It was, it was just Halliburton/KBR, not Blackwater.

Oops, my bad, got the name wrong.

There was even a bill proposed by Senator Franken to curb such shenanigans in the future. Thankfully it passed, but 30 Republicans did somehow find a justification for voting against it.
 

RandomPhantom700

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unless you believe the Peace Cor is not a good program and this just an excuse needed to defund it.

This was what I originally thought to be the case, but the article is, in and of itself, alarming. Completely "suing Peace Corps. out of existence" is an obvious overreaction.
 

Steve

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I don't think anyone's said it's encouraged by the Peace Corps., or that the agency is in favor of having its volunteers gang raped. What the article (and the 20/20 investigation it relies on) alleges is that the Peace Corps. response to these rapes has been deflection, avoidance, and gloss overs rather than directly addressing the problem and compensating the victims.

Again, I have to point to the fact that there's over 1000 reported cases of rape involved. If we were talking about a handful, or maybe even 100, cases, you could maybe chalk (chock?) it up to the inevitable result of working in risky environments, or anomolous circumstances, but 1000 instances? Something needs fixing that isn't being fixed, and there's a reason for it. The fact that it's not in the policy doesn't absolve Peace Corps. of blame if they're failing to do what they should be doing.
Needs to be looked into. I am suspicious, however, any time an organization is blamed for anything. People make bad decisions, and blaming an organization is a great way to deflect blame from individuals. Unless there is a policy, even if it's unwritten, and the behavior is systemic, we're still talking about individuals and poor judgement.

It sounds like this is a serious issue. I'd like to know more.
 
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