Sexual Violence in Haiti Increasing
I recently read an article on the Amnesty International website, that exposed a growing problem in Haiti. No, it's not disease or poverty, it's increasing sexual violence towards women. The make-shift camps make these women sitting ducks.
Armed men who roam the earthquake-ravaged city of Port-Au-Prince have their pick of victims. Within the first 150 days of the earthquake, which occurred about a year ago, 250 cases of rape were reported. If you do the math, that's almost two cases of rape reported daily and this number is increasing drastically.
Sadly, this does not seem to be the governments priority. Aunts, mothers, grandmothers, mentors are being harmed. These are the people who are supposed to help a broken generation of young women who have the same threats and many are orphans or have seen at least one parent die.
Sexual victims, some as young as fourteen in the article, have shared multiple horrific experiences in the article. A lack of policing around the camps has resulted in women being raped in front of their children, on the toilet, and in many other settings. Officers have told these women that there is nothing they can do. But, how is that justice?
As women in America raised in urban cities, we are taught to carry a rape whistle, yell, scream, call the police, don't shower and go straight to the hospital if you're sexually assaulted, or, my mom's favorite: carry pepper spray everywhere you go. As an American whose father was a federal agent, I grew up learning how to protect these women. Sadly, most of these women don't.
The more we can help them, the easier it will be for them to get back on their feet and learn to protect themselves.
For more ways you can help these women, check out these sites: