Congress to Investigate Peace Corps Treatment of Sex Assault Victims


Casey Frazee, an advocate for Peace Corps volunteer victims of rape and sexual assault, teamed up with Smochek to meet with members of Congress in December, before the "20/20" story aired. That meeting, which members of Poe's staff attended, resulted in a letter to Peace Corps director Aaron Williams urging change. It wasn't until after the "20/20" report that Poe, who was not present for the December meeting, demanded a formal investigation.

"We had heard some rumblings, we had had some correspondence with some victims of crime, but the magnitude of the problem was only brought out thanks to ABC News," Poe said.

Frazee also appeared in the ABC News report, recounting her experience of sexual assault in South Africa and the Peace Corps' response.

"I want [Peace Corps] to create effective, sustainable policies for training, response and treatment for sexual violence," Frazee said. Frazee's advocacy group, First Response Action, has been in contact with dozens of volunteer victims of sexual assault.


In a statement to ABC News, Peace Corps Director Williams said the agency had "made significant improvements over the past two years in providing support to sexual assault victims."

"We look forward to working with Congress to further strengthen the Peace Corps and advance our mission of world peace and friendship," said Williams.

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