Non-Government Organizations Combating Gender-Based Violence in Haiti

Haiti, which suffers from the worst poverty in the western Hemisphere, frequent natural disasters, and an inconstant government, has been more prone to gender-based violence (GBV). In the first years following Aristide's expired second-term, 35,000 women were raped in a power grab for political dominance. And Haiti's history discloses that in the aftermath of 60 rulers over-thrown or assassinated, many rapes occurred as a result of the violence.


Statistics gathered by non-government organization (NGO), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), documented that Haiti experiences one of the highest percentages of GBV perpetrated on women. An alarming 72% of young Haitian girls have been sexually assaulted. Another NGO, Inter-American Commission on Human rights, discovered that 90%-plus Haitian women have experienced some variation of violent assault on their persons.

It took the Haitian government until 2005 to recognize rape as "a crime against the person". Since then the government of Haiti (GOH) has taken measures with U.S. backing to fund programs to address GBV. NGOs have provided resources to 30 health-care facilities across the country to recognize and monitor symptoms associated with GBV. So far, 9,200 women have taken sensitivity classes and 113 clinical workers have treated 9,000 victims.

In conjunction with treatment programs, the United States Inter-Development Agency has donated money to set up a call center with referral resources, and to develop a database of reported incidents. Training will also take place in the field with women equipped with tools to mediate domestic conflicts to lower cases of GBV.

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