Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jan. 14: ABC News 20/20 Episode about Rape, Murder and Sexual Assault in Peace Corps

ABC News has been working on several news pieces related to incidents of sexual assault and rape in Peace Corps. They have also investigated the case of Kate Puzey, the Volunteer who was murdered in 2009 in West Africa. All of these pieces are in a 20/20 episode scheduled to air next Friday 1/14 at 10 p.m. Eastern Time. They will have companion pieces posted on their website, which you can check out here: The episode should also be available after the airing on ABC's website.

Coalition members and First Response Action supporters participated in interviews with ABC, which will be part of the show next week. Six survivors, including Coalition members Casey Frazee and Jess Smochek, participated in a panel discussion led by Brian Ross. ABC News also further investigated Jess' story. The Coalition members have not seen the finished piece and we welcome your feedback after the airing.


  1. I cannot tell you how sickened I am after hearing the stories from these brave young women and the women, and probably men, that have been assaulted, raped and murdered. Peace Corps Officials, whether they are current or past, who fail to acknowledge the severity of these acts, like those officials tonight, should step down. How can they have compassion for those the Peace Corps serves if they cannot have compassion for their own workers. The Peace Corps needs a volunteer Ombudsman that immediately removes any worker who feels threatened in any way; there should be a no questions asked policy. To the women tonight and others suffering, you have our support.

  2. Peace Corps should be ashamed. As a volunteer in the 90s, the female volunteers went to out director time and time again to voice our concerns about safety- nothing was done. Until one of the volunteers did get raped. Instead of Peace Corps telling us why our friend was sent away, they covered it up and it was not talked about. Those officals in charge of Peace Corps have gotten their jobs from being connected and are many times out of touch with the volunteers and their lives. My heart goes out to all victims of rape while trying to better the lives of others.

  3. Having been a hostel manager for the last 6 years in Africa, though I am English, and having come to know many of the PCVs personally, who I am happy to call friends, I can assure people of the reality of the dangers in Africa. I met many PCVs, one would be terrible but is was sadly a lot more, with horrific personal stories and heard of numerous others. Although it may be difficult sometimes, something must be done to ensure as far as possible these events become things of the past. My heart did and continues to go out to those who were affected. Your courage and strength of character was both admirable and humbling at times. I miss all of you who did us the honour of staying with us and becoming our friends. Keep well and safe all of you. Tim.