On the One Year Anniversary of the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, Ros-Lehtinen Says We Must Continue to Ensure the Safety of Our Peace Corps Volunteers
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement today regarding The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, which was signed into law one year ago today. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Today, we remember Kate Puzey, a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, who was violently murdered after reporting the rape and abuse of her students. While Kate is no longer with us, her devotion to making the world a better place lives on through the thousands of volunteers currently serving across the globe. The strength and courage of the Puzey family and the Peace Corps volunteers who came forward helped expose the persistent problems of volunteer safety and culture of blaming victims that existed within the Peace Corps. They are models for us all to follow.
“On this one year anniversary of the enactment of The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, I have had flags flown over the U.S. Capitol in memory of Kate and in honor of all the Peace Corps volunteers who are survivors of rape, sexual assault, and other violent crimes.
“I commend the Peace Corps for the positive steps they have taken over the course of the past year. However, more work needs to be done to protect our volunteers. Last year alone, approximately 1,700 crimes against Peace Corps volunteers were reported. The Peace Corps must fully implement all provisions of the Kate Puzey Act so that our brave volunteers, like Kate Puzey, are protected and can fulfill their noble missions abroad.”
NOTE: Chairman Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is the author of H.R. 2699, the Peace Corps Volunteer Service Act of 2011, the House companion to S. 1280, the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011. The bill was signed into law November 21, 2011.