Thursday, July 7, 2011

Survivor Support Legislation Needs YOUR Help

For those of you who are passionate about the issue of increased support for Peace Corps Volunteers, your help is needed to make phone calls or meet with your local representatives.

In late June, Congressman Poe (R-TX) and Senator Isakson (R-GA) introduced legislation to Congress and the Senate titled The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Safety and Security Act. This legislation is intended to improve Peace Corps Safety and Security training and Peace Corps’ response to violent crimes.

This is much-needed legislation that would support Volunteers as a long-term solution. Peace Corps has made strides in their approach to issues of sexual and physical assault over the last year, but with the Peace Corps 5-year staff rule, where staff can only serve 5 years, there is need for a sustainable solution to ensure Volunteer victim support. Many other government agencies have similar provisions to support victims of violence.

You can read the text of the House bill here and the text of the Senate bill here. You can visit the bill information by clicking on the following links to view the up-to-date co-sponsors of the bills for the House and Senate.

This is ground-breaking legislation for Peace Corps and would ensure victim and family support. Would you be willing to make a phone call or write an email (or letter) to express your support to your local representatives?

Find your Senator here:

Find your Member of Congress here:

Need help writing a letter? You can use the template letter on our website here.

Need help on what to say? Visit's Guide for Contacting Representatives here.

Support is needed from ALL members of the House and Senate and in particular, the members of the House and Senate Foreign Affairs Committees. Here are those remaining members who haven't signed on to co-sponsor yet. If you're in their district, please give them a call!

House Foreign Affairs Committee - Republicans

Chris Smith - New Jersey - (

Donald Manzullo - Illinois -(

Edward Royce - California - (

Steve Chabot - Ohio - ( - signed on 7/8/11!

Mike Pence - Indiana - (

Connie Mack - Florida - (

Chairwoman of State/Foreign Operations Subcommittee on the Appropriations Committee (with jurisdiction over PC budget): Kay Granger - Texas - (

Joe Pitts - Pennsylvania - (

House Foreign Affairs Committee - Democrats

Gary Ackerman - New York - (

Donald Payne - New Jersey - ( - signed on 7/6/11!

Brad Sherman - California - (

Eliot Engel - New York - (

Gregory Meeks - New York - (

Russ Carnahan - Missouri - (

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Chairman John Kerry - Massachusetts - (202) 224-2742

Ranking Member Dick Lugar - Indiana - (202) 224-4814 (ask for Carl Meacham)

Majority Members

Robert Menendez - New Jersey - 202.224.4744

Benjamin L. Cardin - Maryland - (202) 224-4524 - signed on 7/14/11!

Robert P. Casey Jr - Pennsylvania - (202) 224-6324

Jim Webb - Virginia - (202) 224-4024

Jeanne Shaheen - New Hampshire - (202) 224-2841

Tom Udall - New Mexico - (202) 224-6621

Minority Members

Bob Corker - Tennessee - 202-228-0566

James E. Risch - Idaho - 202-224-2752

Marco Rubio - Florida - 202-224-3041 - signed on 7/14/11!

James M. Inhofe - Oklahoma - (202) 224-4721

Jim DeMint - South Carolina - 202-224-6121

John Barrasso - Wyoming - 202-224-6441 - signed on 7/11/11!

Mike Lee - Utah - 202-224-5444

News about the bill and the issue of sexual and physical violence against Peace Corps Volunteers:

  • Washington Post Blog by Lisa Rein
  • Miami Herald article by Halima Abdullah
  • NYTimes article by Sheryl Gay Stolburg
  • Dayton Daily article written by Russel Carollo and Hariet Jaspin in 2003:

1 comment:

  1. First Response Action reserves the right to monitor comments. It is unfortunate that this week, First Response Action received two very negative comments related to the murder of Kate Puzey. The board of First Response Action would like to remind those who comment that hate speech will not be published on this blog. Anything that attacks Peace Corps, First Response Action, Kate's Voice, rape/assault survivors, victims of murder or other crime will not be tolerated. First Response Action stands for peace and positive change. We intend to work with Peace Corps staff to enact change that benefits ALL Volunteers and particularly those who are victimized or are whistle blowers. If you have an issue you'd like to discuss further with us or educate yourself about, then please email Please also visit our 'note about comments' blog here: Please also visit our blog about the need for education about rape and sexual assault here: