Among the many issues that Haiti faces currently, violence against women is a major problem. In the many tent cities something as simple as walking around at night can be dangerous for a woman trying to survive sexual violence. Rapes are a common occurrence on many of the camps in Haiti especially the larger ones. Rape survivor, Maricia Jean states, “At first I felt very ashamed to even walk and I did not feel like a human being”.
Violence against women has been the highest among women living Haiti than any other country in the Western Hemisphere. The number of rapes has increased more since the earthquake in January 2010. Many of the camps do not have lights and people are able to move from tent to tent at any given time.
Numerous reports have shown that teenage pregnancy is on the rise on the camp sites. By not having access to health services, medical care, and education makes pregnancy dangerous for these young girls. The earthquake has destroyed many clinics and today many women are having children on the sidewalks. Without the proper medical care and education sexually transmitted diseases will continue to rise.
Haiti is suffering from lack of food, education, jobs and other necessary resources for one to survive. But Violence against women is a far too common problem that is often not discussed. Find out more about this problem and what is being to done to help create safe spaces for the women of Haiti. There are various avenues to donate and support Haiti and the women of Haiti. For more information on the fight against violence towards women check out www.unwomen.org .
Photo from unwomen.org