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Photo: Paula Allen
In January 2010, when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti, causing devastating destruction and flattening Port-au-Prince, Haiti's nerve center, V-Day mobilized quickly to help, creating the V-Day Haiti Rescue Fund. Our activists responded immediately, donating generously to the fund.
Unfortunately, the earthquake damaged our Port-au-Prince safe house, rendering it uninhabitable. V-Day was, however, able to provide emergency support to AFASDA to serve displaced women from Port-au-Prince who were fleeing to the Northern coast in Cap Haitien. We were also able to provide 40 women and their families with shelter through our partner ShelterBox, which provided 10-person tents to each family, along with a range of other essential emergency equipment. Through this support V-Day estimates that 400 to 500 individuals were provided with emergency relief.
According to the Haitian government, 230,000 people died as a result of the earthquake, 300,000 were injured and over 1,000,000 were left homeless. Basic amenities like medical care, food, water, and electricity were out of reach for countless Haitians. Days after the quake, Michele Lebrun Pavana, speaking for Marjory Michel, Minister of Feminine Condition, reported to V-Day that women were at heightened risk for sexual assault.
As there are now 1,300 refugee camps across Haiti, we know that thousands of women and girls are being forced to live in high-risk situations. While women have spoken of widespread rape in the camps and the fear of being attacked, hard data on the number of rapes that have occurred is hard to come by. Few cases of rape are being prosecuted. As human rights lawyer Jane Flemming reported from the ground, survivors of rape are afraid to report to police; for the few who do their rapists are prosecuted at a lower than 2% rate. Haitian women lawyers are working to change this reality so that more women use legal avenues available to them and justice is reached. V-Day’s campaign is addressing this issue.
2011 Women and Girls of Haiti >
Haiti, New Orleans and Congo >
Gender-Based Violence in Haiti >
V-Day's History of Work in Haiti >
Taking the Lead from Women on the Ground >
A Revolutionary New Program >
Educate Yourself >
Haiti Photo Gallery 2011 >
Eve's 2011 Haiti Spotlight Monologue - "Myriam Merlet" >