Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Security for Women

Rapists Prowl Haiti's Earthquake Camps

Suzie thought life couldn't get any worse after her husband, parents and brothers died in Haiti's earthquake one year ago. The family home was destroyed, and Suzie was forced to take her two sons to live in a makeshift shelter, crammed into disease-ridden quarters like more than a million other quake survivors.

But the very place where Suzie sought safety was where she was brutally attacked -- raped by a band of armed men preying on survivors in mourning. In the middle of one night back in May, a gang of men barged into the shelter and blindfolded Suzie and a friend, then raped them in front of their children.

"After they left I didn't do anything. I didn't have any reaction," Suzie said. "Women victims of rape should go to hospital, but I didn't because I didn't have any money," she said. "I don't know where there is a clinic offering treatment for victims of violence."

Suzie is one of hundreds -- perhaps even thousands -- of women who lost everything in Haiti's devastating earthquake last January, only to be tortured afterward by armed rapists roaming their makeshift camps. She and some 50 other victims are profiled in a report out today from Amnesty International, which reveals a shocking trend of rape in some 1,200 camps set up to shelter more than 1 million quake survivors. Another nearly quarter-million people died in the quake.

The rest of the article here.

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