No, not in war, but in the Peace Corps. An investigation by ABC's 20/20 claims that "More than 1,000 young American women have been raped or sexually assaulted in the last decade while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in foreign countries," and that some of the victims say "the Peace Corps has ignored safety concerns and later tried to blame the women who were raped for bringing on the attacks... Jess Smochek, 29, of Pennsylvania was gang raped in Bangladesh in 2004 by a group of young men after she says Peace Corps officials in the country ignored her pleas to re-locate her." These attacks have happened in Benin, Bangladesh, Haiti, South Africa, Georgia, and many other places.
The figures are pretty startling: "Between 2000 and 2009, Peace Corps figures show there were 221 rapes or attempted rapes, 147 major sexual attacks and 719 other sexual assaults—defined as unwanted or forced kissing, fondling or groping.
According to the figures, there is a yearly average of 22 rapes. There were 15 in the year for which the figures are most recently available, 2009."
The show's main segment focuses on the story of Kate Puzey, who sent an email to the Peace Corp's headquarters in Benin complaining about a native Peace Corps employee accused of raping some of Kate's 7th grade students. Though the employee was dismissed, Kate's request of confidentiality for her role in bringing it about was betrayed, and she was later found on the front porch of her house with her throat slit. Her family says that the Peace Corps has not been forthcoming with details, and that Kate's belongings were returned to them by a delivery man, who unceremoniously dumped them in the driveway.
And there is something creepily insincere in the responses of Peace Corps deputy director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, who says, "There are volunteers who have been assaulted or raped who actually do speak kindly of Peace Corps." This was in reaction to being shown a video of six other girls who came forward and told their stories on the show.
If you missed it and have the leisure, go here. In the sidebar to the right of the player are segment titles which should be watched in this order:
1. Why would anyone kill Kate?
2. Peace Corps worked to keep scandal quiet
3. Women Raped While in the Peace Corps
There is also a four page article beginning here.