Peace Corps’ rape cover-up culture comes to light in House committee hearings

At About.com I’ve written about the ABC News story that exposed an ugly aspect of the Peace Corps — a culture of hiding/denying the rape and sexual assault of female Peace Corps volunteers. The story was in part prompted by my own fears as the mother of a wannabe Peace Corps volunteer who added an education minor to her college studies to make herself a more viable candidate.

Now that the House Foreign Affairs Committee is looking into the issue, more horrific stories are coming out, including one from a woman who was raped by her Nepalese program director, became pregnant, and was told by the Peace Corps to get an abortion or quit.

I am especially glad to see partisan support for this issue from an unexpected source, as Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux explains at care2.com:

Strangely enough, as Mother Jones blogger Suzy Khimm points out, the Republicans are leading the charge in investigating potential failures to protect and respect sexual assault victims and reduce rape culture within the Peace Corps.  The Democrats are apparently “skittish” about investigating the allegations, fearing that the Republicans would ultimately use the evidence to fuel funding cuts to the Peace Corps.  This, needless to say, is an incredibly cowardly way to approach the issue.

One thought on “Peace Corps’ rape cover-up culture comes to light in House committee hearings

  1. I know everyone’s experience is different, but I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Yemen in 1992, and don’t have many fond memories, except for the other PC volunteers. I didn’t even last a year of our two-year agreement/contract. I was a fair-skinned, blue-eyed recent college graduate. Based on my experience, I would do everything in my power to keep my daughter from joining PC. I believe PC is wonderful in theory, but horrendous in real life. The sexual harassment is real, and you are left to deal with it alone.

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