Abortion Or Quit: Raped Peace Corps Volunteer Forced To Choose


A Second Rape

Two weeks after that incident, however, she says she did not get away.

According to Clark, another government official cornered her at the complex where she worked.

"He repeatedly pounded my head against the wall and choked me. I was afraid of dying and decided to stop fighting," said Clark.

She said he handed her a used, torn condom and forced her to put it on him.

"All I could think of was whose germs, whose bodily fluids, were on there," she said. "When he began raping me, I couldn't bear it and began fighting again. He told me that I might as well enjoy it because I would never leave my village alive. I thought I was going to die."

Clark said she was able to get to her room and lock the door. When her attacker left, she managed to travel several hours to the capital of Kathmandu to get to the doctor. She said she reported the rape to the medical officer, who said he was "too frustrated to deal with her" and that she hadn't learned her lesson from the first time about how to keep herself safe.

Clark said she was then told she would be flown to Washington, D.C., where a decision would be made as to how she would separate from the Peace Corps. She also said she was instructed to tell other volunteers she was being medically evacuated for dysentery.

Once in D.C., Clark said she was put up in a hotel with other volunteer victims of rape and sexual assault. Karestan Koenan, a Peace Corps volunteer who was raped in Niger in 1991, told ABC News a similar story about finding herself in a Washington hotel with other female volunteers who had come back to the U.S. after being assaulted.

READ an interview with Karestan Koenen

WATCH an interview with Karestan Koenen

The following day, Clark said, she went to an appointment with a Peace Corps counselor who told her to list what she had done to put herself in danger and what she could have done to prevent the rape. Clark was late to the appointment, and said the counselor suggested that her tardiness was a sign of her irresponsible nature.

Clark says she was overwhelmed with frustration that she was blamed for the rapes by the organization she had respected so much, and that the blame still stings now thirty years later.

"I was really devastated. This was the organization that I respected so highly. I idealized their message," said Clark. "I did not cause myself to be raped. I did not cause myself to become pregnant. Peace Corps never gave me that acknowledgment and they still haven't," she said.

Clark said that after the first rape, the Peace Corps employee who raped her was told he could resign or be fired for "dereliction of duty." To her knowledge, the man always maintained he was innocent of rape.

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