Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti Post-Quake Rapes Rise

From Women’s e-News

Women and children as young as 2, already traumatized by the loss of homes and loved ones in the Jan. 12 earthquake that hit Haiti, are now falling victim to rapists in the sprawling tent cities that have become home to hundreds of thousands of people, the Associated Press reported March 16.

With no lighting and no security, the city can become dangerous after sunset. Sexual assaults are daily occurrences in the biggest camps, aid workers say, and most attacks go unreported because of shame, social stigma and fear of reprisals from attackers, the Associated Press reported.

Rape was a significant problem in Haiti even before the earthquake and was frequently used as a political weapon in times of upheaval. But the quake has made women and girls ever more vulnerable, as they’ve lost their homes, being forced to live in close quarters with strangers. Also gone are many male protectors, with the deaths of husbands, brothers and sons.

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