New ‘Beyond Shock’ Report Charts Progress Against Sexual Violence in Haiti since 2010
Cross-Referenced from potofi.org
A comprehensive field progress report, “Beyond Shock: Charting the Post-Quake Landscape of Sexual Violence in Haiti – Progress, Challenge and Emerging Trends,’ is being presented today in Haiti by the PotoFanm+Fi Haiti post-quake coalition (Women and Girls Pillar inKreyol). The Beyond Shock report charts advances in addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and providing services to sexual violence victims across key sectors of the reconstruction. It provides updates from over 60 agencies and field providers, and offers profiles of grassroots leaders. It was written by author and journalist Anne-christine d’Adesky and includes a foreword by Haitian author Edwidge Danticat and a visual essay on Girls in Haiti by photographer Nadia Todres.
The report is attached in pdf form at the bottom of this article.
Among the key findings:
Official Cases Down, Unofficial Up: Beyond Shock confirms that gender-based violence and rape spiked right after the 2010 earthquake. But since early 2011, officially reported cases have declined monthly at some established agencies and even plateaued to below pre-quake levels. By comparison, the unofficial picture continues to increase in urban and rural settings, linked in part to increased advocacy.
Overlooked: Domestic Violence. Overall, domestic violence cases make up 90% of all GBV reported cases since 2010, dwarfing rape-only cases by a broad ratio of 3:1. This was similar to the ratio before 2010, and calls for greater national action to prevent domestic violence.
Majority Rape Victims: Girls. Adolescents and younger girls make up over 60% of reported rape cases since 2010 – the majority. As one Haitian advocates put it, “The adults get beaten; the younger ones get raped.” Both victims and perpetrators have gotten younger, say advocates. Reports of incest have increased; a possible sign families are more confident reporting crimes against children.
A Familial Crime: Contrary to early media reports, data suggest the majority of rapes since 2010 were committed by persons known to the victims --neighbors and acquaintances-- not escaped criminals.
Economic Triggers: Lack of Housing (& Safe Housing) and Food Insecurity are fueling GBV and an entry into survival sex for a growing number of women and girls --- gender aftershocks of the earthquake.
Among solutions, women’s housing and income generation top the list, as do holistic services for victims.
An alarmingly high percentage of adolescent girls in households surveyed two years after Haiti's historic earthquake reported that rape and entry into prostitution were sources of their early, unwanted pregnancies, stated the PotoFi Haiti Girls Initiative in a Summary Report of their October 2011 survey of over 2000 pregnant adolescents in households. The PotoFi paper, titled “Gender Aftershocks: Teen Pregnancy and Sexual Violence in Haitian Girls – Final Results of an Adolescent Field Survey,” is being released along with a larger report by the umbrella PotoFanm+Fi coalition that charts post-quake progress in fighting sexual violence in Haiti. The survey paper confirms preliminary results presented last December and suggests that adolescent girls are disproportionately suffering social and violent aftershocks of the earthquake. The findings highlight an urgent, unmet need for adolescent-tailored GBV and health services in Haiti.
The PotoFi participatory research survey was conducted with seven grassroots Haitian partner organizations in different sites of western Haiti. Overall, the survey documented that many girls lack access to basic health and post-rape services, both in urban and rural areas. “Since 2010, other groups and studies have documented a rise of reports of rape and transactional sex, and a pregnancy bubble that represented gender aftershocks of the earthquake,” stated Annechristine d'Adesky, Project Coordinator for the PotoFi survey. “Our survey of pregnant adolescents confirms that these aftershocks are heavily impacting girls. Very few of the girls we surveyed have accessed post-rape services. To us, these findings represent a call to arms to help girls in Haiti.”
The survey's most important results document:
64% of 981 adolescents reported they got pregnant from rape. Of 1251 pregnant girls, 37% also admitted engaging in survival sex, primarily for shelter, as well as food.
60% of 1317 girls reported that they had received post-rape counseling; 40% had not.
69% of 1035 girls reported seeking access to post-rape health services after rape, but many did not do so within the 72 hour reporting window for reporting rape. Their cases are not “officially” documented.
70% of 1277 girls reported having sought and received a pregnancy test after rape. Among the 30% who did not seek the test were girls from the rural zone of Cap Rouge and girls under age 14.
43% of 843 respondents stated they sought to end their pregnancy (with abortion); 57% did not.
Over 90% of over 1000 girls cited shock, anger, depression and post-trauma as reasons they sought counseling for rape. A significant minority noted that wished to die; a small number had tried suicide.
Economic conditions – lack of shelter and food – have increased girls’ risk of GBV and trading sex since 2010. Many respondents, especially rural girls, stated that they often missed a daily meal.
Cross-Referenced from potofi.org