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Reducing Risks and Supporting Volunteers

The Peace Corps has established new policies and practices that reflect its absolute commitment to reducing risks for Volunteers and responding effectively and compassionately to those who are victims of crime, including sexual assault. There has been nothing short of a broad culture shift at Peace Corps, and the agency’s new approach is Volunteer-centered every step of the way.

On September 1, 2013, the Peace Corps formally launched a new Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response program, which has been developed in consultation with post staff and Volunteers worldwide as well as nationally recognized experts, including recommendations from the Department of Justice; the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network; and the Peace Corps’ newly developed Sexual Assault Advisory Council. The program is two-pronged, designed to reduce risks through bystander intervention and other trainings, and ensure Peace Corps responds effectively and compassionately when incidents occur.

Read Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet’s letter to the Peace Corps community about these reforms.

Agency Progress and Reforms
The Peace Corps has implemented important reforms to reduce the risk of sexual assault and improve support for Volunteers.
Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response
The Peace Corps’ Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response program incorporates more than 30 policy changes, extensive training for Volunteers and staff, and new clearly defined procedures for reducing the risk of sexual assault and responding to Volunteers who are victims of sexual assault.
Implementing the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act
Since passage of the Kate Puzey Act, the Peace Corps has worked diligently toward full implementation of the law and has made extraordinary progress in establishing new policies and practices that reflect an absolute commitment to reducing risks for Volunteers and responding effectively and compassionately when crime does occur.
Ensuring Volunteers' Health During and After Service
The Peace Corps' top priorities are the health, safety and security of Volunteers. The agency is continually working to improve the quality of care and support for both current and returned Volunteers.
Office of Victim Advocacy
The Office of Victim Advocacy is a resource to currently serving and returned Volunteers who have been victims of sexual assault, stalking and other crimes, and works to ensure Volunteers have access to the full range of support services provided by the Peace Corps.
Fact Sheets and Resources
Fact sheets and resources for reducing risks and supporting Volunteers.

Last updated Jul 15 2014