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Beyond Shock: Charting the Landscape of Sexual-Violence in post-quake Haiti: Progress, Challenges & Emerging Trends 2010-2012

A comprehensive field progress report, “Beyond Shock: Charting the PostQuake Landscape of Sexual Violence in Haiti – Progress, Challenge and Emerging Trends,’ is now available for community members to read and learn from. The Beyond Shock report charts advances in addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and providing services to sexual violence victims across key sectors of the reconstruction. It provides updates from over 60 agencies and field providers, and offers profiles of grassroots leaders. It was written by author and journalist Anne-christine d’Adesky and includes a foreword by Haitian author Edwidge Danticat and a visual essay on Girls in Haiti by photographer Nadia Todres.

Among the key findings:

  • Official Cases Down, Unofficial Up: Beyond Shock confirms that gender-based violence and rape spiked right after the 2010 earthquake. But since early 2011, officially reported cases have declined monthly at some established agencies and even plateaued to below pre-quake levels. By comparison, the unofficial picture continues to increase in urban and rural settings, linked in part to increased advocacy.
  • Overlooked: Domestic Violence. Overall, domestic violence cases make up 90% of all GBV reported cases since 2010, dwarfing rape-only cases by a broad ratio of 3:1. This was similar to the ratio before 2010, and calls for greater national action to prevent domestic violence.
  • Majority Rape Victims: Girls. Adolescents and younger girls make up over 60% of reported rape cases since 2010 – the majority. As one Haitian advocates put it, “The adults get beaten; the younger ones get raped.” Both victims and perpetrators have gotten younger, say advocates. Reports of incest have increased; a possible sign families are more confident reporting crimes against children.
  • A Familial Crime: Contrary to early media reports, data suggest the majority of rapes since 2010 were committed by persons known to the victims --neighbors and acquaintances-- not escaped criminals.
  • Economic Triggers: Lack of Housing (& Safe Housing) and Food Insecurity are fueling GBV and an entry into survival sex for a growing number of women and girls --- gender aftershocks of the earthquake. Among solutions, women’s housing and income generation top the list, as do holistic services for victims.

A short version of the report (PDF) is available here:

The full report will be released in book form in early 2013. Media inquiries: contact Anne-christine d’Adesky at potofanm (at) gmail (dot) com or Soeurette Policar at potoficoord (at) gmail (dot) com (+509) 3438-2315.


Mukut's picture

Dear Scott


It is disheartening to read about the reports.Sadly the situation is no different in India too. Incest and rape committed by family members or kin is very high even here. But the shocking part is that most of these crimes never make it to the official figures because the victim and the accused reach an out of court settlement and decide to end the matter without involving the police. Family honor and victim blaming is still rampant which forces them to cover up the matter and not make it to the official records.

Reports such as these compels us to stop and introspect. We have failed as nations and individuals. Enough of the rhetorical promises, now is the time to walk the talk.

Much love,

Mukut Ray

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