Thursday, April 7, 2011

Peace Corps Rape Victim Jess Smochek Honored By Congress - ABC News

Peace Corps Rape Victim Jess Smochek Honored By Congress - ABC News: "Smochek was attacked while serving as a volunteer in Bangladesh in 2004. She says that a group of men began to stalk her from the very first day she arrived in the city where she was assigned. The men tried to kiss her and touch her, and ultimately gang raped her.

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Jess Smochek had repeatedly reported that she felt threatened, but the Peace Corps didn't relocate her.

Bangladesh used to be a very safe country. I remember when my cousin's American girlfriend came over in the '80s, she was comparing Dhaka with cities in Latin America. She said that she would never think of going out casually in those cities, whereas she felt perfectly safe in Dhaka.

This was before our, and after Latin America's, democratic transition.

Violence was very low in Latin America under military rule; when we reverted to democracy, rapes rose from 250 in the '80s to over 900 in 1992, and soon reached four digits. I'll never understand why the Peace Corps didn't relocate Smochek. They must have known that Bangladesh was a dangerous country. Adding insult to injury, during counseling she was made to write out all the things she had done to create the rape situation - meaning, it was her fault.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Thanks for posting this. An interesting perspective from a male Bangladeshi.