Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams Statement on Legislation Proposed by Sen. Johnny Isakson and Rep. Ted Poe

June 23, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2011—The Peace Corps issued the following statement from Director Aaron S. Williams on legislation proposed by Sen. Johnny Isakson and Rep. Ted Poe.

The safety and security of our volunteers is Peace Corps top priority. We will continue to do everything we can to enhance the health, safety, and security of these dedicated Americans serving our country overseas.

In particular, we are committed to fully supporting all volunteers who are victims of sexual assault. Each volunteer is a valued member of the Peace Corps family and every victim of sexual assault deserves the utmost compassion and support.

The Peace Corps has taken a number of steps to proactively address sexual assault, including establishing a panel of outside experts and sexual assault victims, hiring a victims advocate, and signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the nations largest anti-sexual violence organization. We have put in place new practices and safeguards to better protect volunteers and ensure that victims of crime receive compassionate and effective support.

The Peace Corps welcomes the work of Congress on this important issue and looks forward to continuing our joint efforts to improve our response to sexual assaults and other crimes.

For more detailed information on Peace Corps safety and security practices, including the agencys Commitment to Sexual Assault Victims, please visit the Safety Section on the Peace Corps website.

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 77 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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