House Foreign Affairs Committee discusses safety issues in the Peace Corps

The House Foreign Affairs Committee under Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on Wednesday discussed safety issues in the Peace Corps, hearing testimony from several former Peace Corps volunteers as well as Peace Corps Director Aarons S. Williams and Peace Corps Inspector General Kathy A. Buller.

In her opening statement, Ros-Lehtinen noted the successes of the Peace Corps in the 50 years since its establishment, but expressed concern about alleged “mishandling of rape and assault”, which she termed “a recurrent problem”.

Earlier in the week, the New York Times featured an article about several former Peace Corps volunteers who had become victims of sexual assault while serving abroad and now seek to convince Congress to pass legislation that would require the Peace Corps to develop “sexual assault response teams”, whose tasks would include emergency health care and advocacy for victims after attacks.

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