Commission of Women Victims for Victims – International Women’s Day, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
The Commission of Women Victims for Victims is a group of victims of political rape from the 1991-94 coup d’état now working with new victims of rape and political rape. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we take the opportunity to speak out against violations of the rights of Haitian women, and to demand justice for all women victims.
The Commission has received more than 100 cases of women who have been victims of rape in poor neighborhoods, including Village de Dieu, Martissant, Delmas 30, Delmas 13, Bel Air, La Saline, Fort National, and Cité Soleil since September 30, 2004. The situation of these women victims is extremely critical. Many victims have had husbands killed or disappeared at the time of their rape. Several have had their homes burnt, and all of their possessions destroyed or stolen. These women are then forced to find a place for themselves and their children to stay. We have met with many women who have been sleeping outside in the mountains because they have no other place to stay.
We have seen many cases of several armed perpetrators raping one or more women in a home. Victims often cannot identify the aggressors when they enter into their home because their faces are masked. There are many cases of this nature in Cité Soleil, where many victims are forced to flee the area by boat without having any place to seek refuge.
The presence of MINUSTAH (UN peacekeeping mission) in poor neighborhoods has done little to prevent rapes from occurring on a daily basis. The number of cases we have received from Village de Dieu and Cité Soleil alone shows us that MINUSTAH has failed to provide real security for women in these areas.
The Commission of Women Victims for Victims condemns rape and all forms of violence against women. We call upon MINUSTAH to provide security in our neighborhoods to protect women from rape. We call upon the government and MINUSTAH to put in place measures of security to stop rape and other violence against women in popular neighborhoods. We demand an end to rape and justice for all women victims of rape.