New Law Protects Peace Corps Volunteers

House unanimously passes Kate Puzey Act
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2011 2:59 AM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2011 5:00 AM CDT
House Passes Kate Puzey Act to Protect Peace Corps Volunteers
Kate Puzey, seen here in Benin in 2008, was murdered after telling superiors she believed a fellow Peace Corps employee was molesting female students.   (AP Photo/courtesy of the Puzey family)

Congress has found something it can agree on: better protection for Peace Corps volunteers. A bill designed to protect whistleblowers, train volunteers on how to avoid attacks, and improve the treatment of sexual assault victims passed the House by unanimous consent yesterday. The Kate Puzey Volunteer Protection Act of 2011—named after a volunteer who was murdered in Benin in 2009—passed the Senate by unanimous consent in September.

"We're so gratified, and actually amazed, that it's come to fruition, and that other volunteers will be able to hopefully serve safely," Puzey's mother tells ABC News. "And if, God forbid, something happens, then they will have the support they need, which is what our family did not get." The legislation was created after dozens of women who served in the Peace Corps accused the agency of not doing enough to help them after they were sexually assaulted. (More Peace Corps stories.)

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