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Wed Jan 25, 2023, 02:04 PM

Haiti's sexual violence survivors demand justice (trigger warning for graphic content)

(a horrifying, yet, sadly, not unusual, story)

Haiti’s sexual violence survivors demand justice

Sexual violence is surging in Haiti amid widespread insecurity, advocates say, but impunity ‘remains the norm’.

A woman walks in a neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 6, 2018 [File: Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters]
By Jillian Kestler-D'Amours
Published On 25 Jan 202325 Jan 2023

Warning: The story below contains descriptions of sexual violence

The men came before sunrise, burning and destroying everything in their path before they reached *Sarah’s sheet-metal home in the impoverished Port-au-Prince neighbourhood of Cite Soleil. Then, they broke down the door. “If it wasn’t for God, they would have killed me for sure,” the young Haitian woman told Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (SOFA), a feminist civil society group in Haiti, about the July 2022 attack. She said three men raped her in front of her mother and two children before they let them all go. “Thank God they didn’t do anything to my mother and children,” Sarah said in her testimonial, which was shared with Al Jazeera this month. “They let us go, but after a few minutes they set our house on fire.”

Sexual violence has surged in Haiti amid widespread gang killings and kidnappings, a political stalemate that has crippled most state institutions, and socioeconomic uncertainty across the Caribbean nation. Over the past several months, criminal gangs vying for control of territory have enacted a campaign of terror in the capital of Port-au-Prince. They have used sexual violence “to instill fear and to punish and to terrorise” residents, a United Nations official recently warned.

“We are in an abysmal situation,” said Elizabeth Richard, programme coordinator at ActionAid Haiti, a non-profit group working to support sexual violence survivors in the country. With videos of gang attacks circulated widely on social media, Richard said a sense of numbness and dehumanisation has set in, eclipsing the scope of the problem. “I don’t want it to be normal – because we have to reach a point where we say, ‘OK that’s enough’,” she told Al Jazeera. “In Haiti, [women] are the pillar of the society. If you have women experiencing this type of issue, how can you have a society at all in a sense?”

. . . . .

“Rule of law institutions are not only under-resourced and understaffed, but they are affected by lack of independence and corruption. Their representatives are also subjected to intimidation and reprisals by gang elements,” the report found. According to the SOFA representative, “the judicial system practically doesn’t exist” in the country. “So when women come and don’t find results … they get discouraged. And for us, too, we feel diminished compared to the type of service that we’re used to providing,” the representative said.
. . . . .


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Reply Haiti's sexual violence survivors demand justice (trigger warning for graphic content) (Original post)
niyad Jan 25 OP
BlueWaveNeverEnd Sunday #1
niyad Sunday #2

Response to niyad (Original post)

Sun Jan 29, 2023, 09:56 PM

1. kick

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Response to BlueWaveNeverEnd (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 29, 2023, 09:57 PM

2. Thank you.

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