When a woman here in Haiti is raped, it is very difficult for her to find justice. I am a rape survivor; my friend Eramithe is a rape survivor; many of our friends and family members are rape survivors. But we have found resilience and strength, and learned to fight back. Eramithe and I co-founded KOFAVIV, an organization by and for survivors of sexual violence. In partnership with MADRE, an international women’s human rights group, we help provide medical care and counseling, and work to improve Haiti’s criminal justice system. And we are seeing progress. A new bill that we have worked on would create real changes in the way sexual assault cases are handled, providing relief for women like the one who inspired this article. We need support from the international community to make sure our government does the right thing and passes this bill into law.
Malya Villard-Appolon, KOFAVIV, 2012 CNN Hero