Peace Corps’ Blind Eye Towards Rape
Creating the Peace Corps by executive order in 1961, President John F. Kennedy proposed the opportunity, and challenge, of global engagement to American citizens. “How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana?” he questioned prospective graduates at the University of Michigan. “Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives travelling around the world?”
Nowadays, many college campuses host intriguing information sessions each year promoting the option of volunteering for the Peace Corps. If selected as a volunteer for the international development organization, it’s an ideal transition into the work force for students post-graduation; while resourcefully applying their studies in a specialized area — whether it be education, health care, business development, environment, youth development, or agriculture — volunteers are drawn to the concept of immediately integrating their eager minds and bodies into a waiting world through travel, cultural exchange and hands-on altruism.
Benefits of the distinctive experience noted, volunteers do realize the possible risks of spending time abroad in a developing nation, where social customs vary distinctively from the United States, living conditions are not lavish but tolerable, and institutional systems such as law enforcement can be lacking. While the Peace Corps strongly asserts that it assures the safe placement of each volunteer, volunteers independently understand the inevitable threats. While the prevention of crimes is difficult to secure, a firm response is the responsibility of the organization, a responsibility the Peace Corps has been accurately accused of disregarding time and time again. More specifically, analyzing the Peace Corps’ track record of negligent, victim-blaming treatment of rape victims in service would sicken any prospective volunteer.