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Disaster Exacerbates Violence Against Women in Haiti

By January 21, 2010

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Life was never easy for the majority of women in Haiti. And now, in the aftermath of the earthquake, circumstances have gone from from bad to worse.

A child of Haitian parents, Taina Bien-Aimé -- the executive director of Equality Now, an international human rights organization -- describes those circumstances in the Huffington Post:

Violence against women is an unaddressed catastrophe in Haiti. Kay Fanm, a Haitian women's rights organization, estimates that 72% of Haitian girls surveyed have been raped and at least 40% of women are victims of domestic violence.

Human trafficking and sex tourism were thriving businesses the day before the earthquake....With limited government capacity in Haiti, we can only shudder at the potential havoc criminal profiteers could trigger there, with probable impunity.

Scores of international agencies have documented the particular consequences of disasters on women and children....[and] the link between humanitarian emergencies and increased exposure of women and children to sexual violence and exploitation. Disaster relief efforts...often fail to give attention to the basic needs of women...which further jeopardizes their lives and safety.

Protection of human rights, particularly those of women and children, is as important as providing immediate medical attention, food and shelter. In Haiti, women come last in terms of protection from violence.

Need recommendations for charitable organizations on the ground in Haiti that can make the most of your donation? Here are a handful you may not have heard of.

Related article: Haiti Donations - Recommended Charities


January 27, 2010 at 3:44 am
(1) manic 88 says:

As much as my heart goes out to the women and children I can think of millions of needy people that need the help that will go to the sex traffickers and human rights violaters. We and every nation are pouring money into these charities for relief. How can we solve that?

April 7, 2010 at 9:49 am
(2) DS says:

I have read about this issue, and I am absolutley infuriated! Why do they not have a seperate female camp, secure and patrolled? This is a tradegy! What a disgrace.

March 15, 2011 at 12:02 am
(3) Michael652 says:

The rate is so high as to numb the senses rather than create outrage. This is one of those tragedies going unchecked. I completely agree with DS. If these girls are left unprotected, they will undoubtedly be subject to abuse and assault. It is a major stain on us to allow this to happen.

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