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20/20: 1,000 female Peace Corps volunteers sexually attacked since 2000.


A while back, we brought you the story of the white female volunteer who was gang raped in Haiti. This case is by no means isolated. Now ABC’s 20/20 says that the mostly white, female volunteers in the Peace Corps are raped in 3rd world countries on a regular basis.

60% of the Peace Corps’ current 8,655 volunteers are female. The average age is 28. Over 40% are in Africa and Haiti. Most of the rest are in Latin America, the South Pacific, and parts of Asia.

In many of the places female Peace Corp volunteers are sent, the men view them as prey and rape them with impunity. The US government spends $400 million on the program a year.

According to the report on 20/20, the Peace Corps does not inform female volunteers of the danger, nor does it provide appropriate security. Victims told 20/20 that Peace Corps officials told them it was their own fault for getting raped.

From ABC National News…

More than 1,000 young American women have been raped or sexually assaulted in the last decade while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in foreign countries, an ABC News 20/20 investigation has found.

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.

In the most brutal attack, Jess Smochek, 29, of Pennsylvania was gang raped in Bangladesh in 2004 by a group of young men after she says Peace Corps officials in the country ignored her pleas to re-locate her.

“They all took turns raping me,” she told ABC News. “They raped me with their bodies,. They raped me with foreign objects.”

Smochek says the group began to stalk her and tried to kiss her and touch her from the very first day she arrived at the city where she was assigned.