Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Children As Young as 2 Are Being Raped Every Night in Haiti

As US troops prepare to leave Haiti, two months after a deadly earthquake struck that country, there are growing concerns about the deteriorating security situation, specifically the increasing numbers of rapes and some of the victims are underage girls and even infants.

Alison Thompson, an Australian volunteer nurse who runs a field clinic serving the largest tent city in Port-au-Prince, tells ABC News:

"Whenever the lights go down, we only have one big strong light and we try to keep it up all the time but sometimes it'll go down, so when it's darkness down there, that's when the rapes start. It's all about having electricity. Electric light in one village is like 40 policemen. So whenever that goes down, the rapes go up....Suspected syphilis and gonorrhoea and many other problems, and they say it's common here," she said.

She says she treats 12- and 14-year-old sexual assault victims and a few days ago she treated a two-year-old girl, who was also raped.

When the lights fall over the ramshackle tent city, Allison says there is nothing the soldiers or medics can do.

"I lie there in my tent at night, sometimes I don't hear it because I'm so tired I crash, sometimes I hear the rapes off into the far distance. You don't know where they are and that, but you just hear them. They're just excruciating screams from women, and you just feel helpless to help them."

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