Port-au-Prince (AFP) – As the rising power of criminal gangs plunges Haiti deeper into chaos, health care workers are getting overwhelmed by the number of women being raped by these violent groups, and by the sheer horror of the victims’ ordeals.
“Some of the kidnapped women don’t even know how many men raped them,” said Doctor Judith Fadois, who has worked for the past six years at a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) clinic in Port-au-Prince for victims of sexual violence.
“In some cases, I would speak of mutilation, they were treated like objects so much,” the doctor said of the awful things she has seen and heard at the clinic in recent months.
There is already a taboo surrounding sex crimes in this society widely seen as chauvinist, and that makes it hard enough to talk about rape. But the heightened cruelty of Haitian gangs has stunned some of the medical teams beyond words.
In the past two months, as gangs virtually took control of the capital in the wake of the president’s assassination and a years-long social and economic crisis, the staff at the clinic have heard things that the doctor says she “never thought a human being could do to another human being.”
Click here to read more.