SEATTLE -- Last week the nation watched as rape victims talked about the Peace Corps ignoring and sometimes hiding the crime. This week we spoke to a Seattle woman who knows a rape victim.
Tracey Lake loved her time in Honduras. While there she became a part of the community, her host family even adopting her as one of their own. They made this sign for me. It says Tracey Martinez. Martinez was their last name.
She says she never felt unsafe and got used to listening to the needs of the community and the community's leaders. Later, she listened to something else, stories from fellow volunteers about what they experienced. One woman was drinking with her host father and couldn't remember how she got from that moment to this one.
Tracey tells us, She woke up aware of being raped in the back of a pickup truck. She closed her eyes and said oh myGod, this can't be happening, opened her eyes again and it was finished.
Tracey says she empathizes with the victims but says everyone she knew that had been victimized broke one of therules. Specificallytwo, the first, no drinking. The second, not to go outat night.She says alcohol a problem.She also believes it's a heavy burden for a twenty-something to understand the risk ofbreaking the rules. However, she says the Peace Corps did a lot to ensure their safety.
Tracey callsthe training extensive and says theyplayed out many scenarios to teach people how to handleall types of situations. One situation thatwas not addressedwas rape.
I was part of a training team that helped train people coming in after me and I didn't train anybody on what to do if you were raped. She says because volunteers are placed inruraltowns, there are no rape kits. Tracey told us she'd be surprised if even the bigcities hours awayhad rape kits.
She hopes future volunteers aren't discouraged because she had a wonderful experience. Atruck drives by andI hear Hola Tracey! and it brought tears to my eyes because I had been gone like six or seven months.
Peace Corps leaders say new policies are in place, so victims voices are never drowned out again.