STATEMENT FROM PEACE CORPS DIRECTOR CAROL SPAHN ON DENIM DAY

(Washington, D.C. | Wednesday, April 24, 2024) – As part of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month activities, today Peace Corps staff around the world wear jeans in solidarity with victims and survivors of sexual violence. Denim Day is a global movement to raise awareness and expose the harmful norms and attitudes that perpetuate a culture of sexual assault.

This event is a powerful reminder that, as a global community, we must work together and take action to dismantle destructive myths and victim-blaming and build a future free from gender-based violence. The Peace Corps is deeply committed to tackling this issue for the safety, security, and well-being of Peace Corps Volunteers, staff, and the host country community members they work alongside.

Over the last three years, we have made incredible strides to strengthen our safety and security systems that reduce Volunteers’ risk and exposure to sexual assault. But it’s bigger than that. We know that sexual violence is a global issue that threatens our mission to promote world peace and friendship. We take seriously our responsibility to support the dignity and safety of the entire Peace Corps network which includes the community members we work alongside every day.

In the Peace Corps’ Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Performance Review and Report released today, we highlight the evolution of our approach to sexual violence prevention and our work to combat its root causes at the societal level. In the report, we also reaffirm our commitment to institutionalizing a culture of trauma-informed care at this agency.

As we observe the 25th anniversary of Denim Day, let today be a global call to action to further the critical work of sexual assault prevention. Together, we can create a world where every individual can live free from fear and violence. The Peace Corps stands with survivors and advocates worldwide as we continue the agency’s proactive, preventative efforts to promote a safer, more inclusive future for all.

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