Sexual Violence A Byproduct of Haiti Quake

A lack of measures to prevent sexual violence is contributing to a humanitarian crisis in Haiti that is unrelated to, but a direct spinoff of, January’s devastating earthquake.

According to a press release by PR Newswire, the hundreds of spontaneous camps that sprung up in Haiti’s capital and other affected areas have become the sites of widespread sexual violence. Amnesty International is urging Haitian authorities to take immediate and effective measures to protect women and girls living in camps.

“Insecurity, overcrowding and inadequate sanitary facilities are putting women and girls at great risk of abuse because they are exposed and without protection,” says the press release. “The lack of capacity of the police forces and the justice system in the aftermath of the earthquake means that perpetrators are unlikely to be punished.”

Chiara Liguori, Caribbean researcher at Amnesty International, said authorities in Haiti “must prioritize strengthening the police presence in camps, especially at night, including capacity to protect women and girls from sexual violence and to respond adequately to reported cases.”

To read the press release, click here: