By Michael Sheridan , New York DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Women, girls and children as young as 2 years old, already traumatized by the loss of homes and loved ones in Haiti’s earthquake, now are falling victim to rapists in tent cities.
However, it is difficult to know how bad it has gotten, since many women do not report the attacks to what authorities there may be.
Many of the sexual assaults are gang rapes , Pierre said.
These patrols, he said, may not do much to help.
“They only drive their cars down the one road that covers only a small portion of the camp,” Pierre said. “They never get out of their cars.”
“I’ve been here five days , and have spoken to 30 [ rape ] survivors including a dozen under 18,” she said. “Their stories are horrific. I would be catatonic.”
Haitian police officers with stations minutes from some of the largest camps do not patrol — a fact blamed on the loss of dozens of officers killed in the quake, as well as scores who remain missing and more than 250 who were hurt .
Still, that leaves some 9,600 Haitian police officers and 2,000 UN police officers.
“We are aware of problem … but it’s not a priority,” Information Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said last month.
The State Department has warned American citizens who have traveled to Haiti in an effort to help victims, or plan to, that increasing violence makes doing so a real risk.
Through a travel warning it states: “U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Haiti despite this warning are reminded that there remains a persistent danger of violent crime, including homicides and kidnappings.”
Four Americans have been killed in Haiti since the January quake, one of whom was reportedly the victim of a kidnapping.
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