I have exciting news to share — a worldwide campaign is taking off, and we need you!
As someone dedicated to women's rights worldwide, you're probably well aware of the lifesaving work of Haitian women who mobilize to protect rape survivors. MADRE and our Haitian sister organization KOFAVIV have worked together to make sure that women get the urgent care and long-term counseling they need to heal.
And now, we're fighting to extend this protection even further — by making it Haitian law.
We're pushing for a breakthrough revision in the Haitian legal code that will prohibit and punish violence against women. Crucially, it prohibits and punishes all sexual assault, including marital rape. This legislation is truly groundbreaking. It will help bring justice for all women who face violence in Haiti.
Haitian women have been rallying local support for this legislation. And now, we've joined with the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict to launch a campaign to show that we stand with them.
Here's where you come in: sign this letter of support for Haitian women's petition to pass this important legal reform. The more signatures we get, the more we build a movement in support of every woman's right to live a life free of violence.
Read the letter of support below. Sign your name and demand justice.
Our sisters in Haiti thank you!
To commemorate November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, KOFAVIV gathered their staff and their members at the KOFAVIV Women's Center to discuss the importance of this day for both women and for women’s organizations worldwide. Throughout the day, the participants reflected on issues relating to gender-based violence in their communities in Port-au-Prince, throughout Haiti, and internationally.Every year leading up to November 25, KOFAVIV chooses a slogan to rally their members and the general public around the objective of raising awareness about the different forms of violence against women and girls as well as the different methods civil society can use to help stop this violence in Haiti. This year's slogan was "Men nan men, san silans ak anpil tolerans, nap kwape vyolans", which translates to "Hand in hand, with a lot of tolerance, we'll break the silence and put an end to violence".
KOFAVIV works tirelessly to bring shelter and support for victims of sexual violence, and this includes supporting the victims as they go through the legal processes, from filing a complaint to the police, finding a lawyer and helping them build a case, to accompanying the victims to trials.
This past July, four cases of sexual violence for which KOFAVIV had provided assistance to the victims were tried at the courts. KOFAVIV and its local legal aid partner, the BAI (The Bureau of International Lawyers), celebrated a victory as all four aggressors in these cases were convicted and will be jailed for the crimes that they committed against the victims, all of whom are minors. KOFAVIV outreach agents and staff were present at the trials, to provide emotional support to the victims and their families but also to raise awareness about addressing and preventing sexual violence.
Although four cases is an extremely small number compared to the hundreds, if not thousands of cases of sexual violence that go unreported, it is a step in the right direction. Although the legal recourses are slow and often inaccessible to victims of sexual violence, KOFAVIV is not letting this hinder their work. Through public education campaigns, outreach events, and access to support services provided by organizations such as KOFAVIV, victims are breaking the silence and seeking justice.
Want your donation dollars to have the greatest possible impact?
On June 13, starting at 12:01 am EST, GlobalGiving is sponsoring a special “Bonus Day,” where every donation you make to MADRE and KOFAVIV’s “Combating Sexual Violence in Haiti” project will be matched by 50 percent—greatly increasing the impact of your generous donations!
MADRE is working with our partner KOFAVIV to end the epidemic of rape in the displacement camps by providing security, psychosocial support and medical care for survivors of rape.
Together, we are working to meet immediate needs of rape survivors in the displacement camps and develop community-based anti-violence strategies.
Your support of this project will enable us to continue our crucial work with KOFAVIV. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to make your donation go even further, and donate today!
“Marie”* was just 19 years old when her father died in Haiti’s devastating earthquake. Left to fend for herself without stable source of income, she struggled to make ends meet. Basic resources like food, water and shelter were often out of reach .
Marie soon found herself engaging in “survival sex,” or, the act of exchanging sex for food, money and other crucial resources to sustain herself. These men she met frequently use violence to force themselves on her, and they often refuse to wear condoms or pay her.
She is afraid of getting pregnant or contracting a disease, but she does not have the money to go to medical clinics. Sometimes she dreams of the happy days before the earthquake, when she hung out with her friends and attended school regularly. Now, she sees little option other than survival sex.
Marie is not the only young woman facing this crisis. So KOFAVIV began designing workshops to provide an alternative for women and girls. The workshops not only provides a safe space for women and girls to stay during the day, but also offers food and skills training. They include instruction in activities such as how to craft jewelry and clothes, how to make hair pomade, and how to paint nails.
Women are taught skills that can provide them with income and clear alternatives to survival sex. The workshops train girls to become leaders and teach them how to reach out to other women in similar circumstances. This program has proved to be extremely effective, and nearly 70 girls have taken part to date.
Much of this vital work continues because of the tireless dedication of the KOFAVIV’s outreach workers—and because of you. You can make sure that KOFAVIV’s essential outreach work continues to change lives. *Not her real name.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.