Archive - January 28, 2011

1
Stan Meisler's Comments on the Sexual Assaults in the Peace Corps
2
Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams' Response to ABC World News on Jan. 27, 2011
3
Congress to Investigate Peace Corps Treatment of Sex Assault Victims

Stan Meisler's Comments on the Sexual Assaults in the Peace Corps

Next month Stan Meisler’s book on the Peace Corps When The World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years will be published by Beacon Press, here, Stan emailed me his ‘take’ on the issue of assaults in the Peace Corps based on his research and long experience with the agency. We should all listen to what Stan has to say.] While writing my book on the history of the Peace Corps, I tried to deal with the sensational series of articles in the Dayton Daily News in 2003 that painted lurid pictures of mayhem in the Peace Corps. The ABC News 20/20 segment on rape raised many of the same issues and sent me back to the Peace Corps’ statistical studies of the problem. There is no doubt that ABC News and congressional investigators are exaggerating and distorting the issue. First of all, let’s . . .

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Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams' Response to ABC World News on Jan. 27, 2011

“Peace Corps takes the issue of sexual assault very seriously. There are procedures in place at each post to respond quickly and compassionately to our volunteers. Teams of specialists from the medical, mental health, security and legal fields are available immediately to assist the volunteer in the recovery process. There is no tolerance for a culture that blames victims. The women interviewed by ABC’s 20/20 are courageous and strong, and their stories of sexual assault over the past decade are heartbreaking. “ABC’s 20/20 program does not accurately reflect the support we currently provide to Peace Corps volunteers. The health and safety of our volunteers is the single most important priority for our agency. We have made significant improvements over the past two years in providing support to sexual assault victims, and we look forward to working with Congress to further strengthen the Peace Corps and advance our mission of world . . .

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Congress to Investigate Peace Corps Treatment of Sex Assault Victims

[In case you might have missed last night’s ABC News, Congress is investigating charges that as many as 1,000 former Peace Corps volunteer women were raped during their service abroad.  Many of those volunteers are charging that Peace Corps officials asked them to remain quiet and cover up:  http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/peace-corps-congress-investigate-peace-corps-treatment-sex/story?id=12777476.]   In the wake of an ABC News “20/20” investigation, a Congressional committee announced plans for hearings on the Peace Corps’ handling of more than a thousand cases of female volunteers who were raped or sexually assaulted over the last decade. “This is very upsetting. If these numbers are accurate this is something that Congress definitely should investigate,” Rep. Rohrabacher, R-California, Chairman of the House subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, told ABC News. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, called for the hearing Wednesday, telling ABC News he was “furious and sad” after watching the “20/20” report. In the report, six former Peace Corps . . .

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