The Peace Corps Deals with Sexual Assault
Peace Corps Seeks Public Input as Agency Develops Roadmap to Strengthen its Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response Program
Today, the Peace Corps announced the next phase of its work to strengthen the agency’s Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response (SARRR) program. From December 2 to December 16, the public is invited to submit input and feedback about the Peace Corps’ efforts to enhance systems that support sexual assault risk mitigation and provide care to survivors.
Following the release of the 2021 Sexual Assault Advisory Council (SAAC) report in November, Peace Corps leadership is conducting a comprehensive review of the recommendations outlined in the report and preparing a roadmap that outlines the future of the SARRR program to be released publicly in early 2022.
“Last month, we received expert recommendations that incorporate emerging best practices from SAAC members that will inform the next phase of our work. It is critically important that we also hear from returned volunteers, the broader Peace Corps network and the American public,” said Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer Carol Spahn. “I invite anyone who has specific suggestions to submit their input for consideration as we develop our roadmap, help shift norms around sexual violence and provide victim-centered and trauma-informed care to survivors.”
Since the spring, the Peace Corps has made significant progress toward improving volunteer safety and sexual assault risk reduction and response efforts. In October, the agency released an update on specific, systemic improvements to sexual assault related policies and procedures that have been implemented prior to volunteers’ return to in-person service overseas.
Comments can be submitted starting today via SARRRInput@peacecorps.gov.* Commenters may include their name and contact information if they choose. Peace Corps staff will carefully review the feedback and consider actions that can be incorporated into the agency’s roadmap, as appropriate.
Returned volunteers who have been impacted by sexual violence, or any crime while serving in the Peace Corps, can contact the Office of Victim Advocacy (OVA), which is available 24 hours a day and can provide confidential services and referrals, by phone or text at 202-409-2704 and email at email@example.com. All Peace Corps staff members are required to immediately notify OVA when they lean of a sexual assault that occurred against a volunteer during Peace Corps service.
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