According to a report by Deborah Sontag of the New York Times,
Malya Villard, director of Kofaviv, a grass-roots organization that supports rape victims, said that the presence of thousands of prisoners who escaped during the earthquake aggravated an environment where insecurity and despair feed on each other.
“It’s an ideal climate for rape,” she said.
Ms. Villard said that Kofaviv’s two dozen case workers, in Port-au-Prince, had counseled 264 victims since the earthquake, triple the number in an equivalent period last year. Arrests for rape are fewer — 169 countrywide through May, but more arrests have been made in the last few months than during the same period last year.
Since the earthquake, international relief groups have expressed concerns about violence against women, especially in the camps under their watch. Poor or nonexistent lighting, unlockable latrines, adjacent men’s and women’s showers and inadequate police protection have all been problems.
I encourage you to read the whole article. It’s upsetting. It’s difficult to read. It’s important, though. It’s important to remember and to know. According to Shakesville,
Doctors Without Borders is treating survivors of brutal sexual assaults. They provide “antibiotics for sexually transmitted diseases, anti-HIV treatment, pills for vaginitis, and over-the-counter painkillers,” and they are still in desperate need of support.
If you want to help them in their effort, you can donate to DWB here.