|Personal Safety in Cross-Cultural Transition (Peace Corps)|
|Handouts for volunteer workshop on handling difficult situations and peer counseling: Unit three|
TRAINER NOTE: Read the following aloud after which you can give the trainees a few minutes to reflect on what they've heard, and then answer the questions in the training design.
Amy's adjustment to her site and country had begun with training and two months at her site. She was doing well with the language and her work. While visiting another Volunteer, the two women joined two men Volunteers for a day at the beach. While the others were swimming, Amy decided to take a long walk.
On her way back a young man appeared suddenly from behind the sand hills, pulled a knife, and asked if she wanted to sleep with him. She thought it was a joke, laughed at him and tried to walk on by. He got very angry, grabbed her, pushed her to the ground, slapping her face and bruising her limbs, tore her bathing suit, and raped her. She reported later that she felt at that time as though she were watching a movie of what was happening. He told her that if she spoke to anyone about this he would kill her and that she should stay in that spot for 20 minutes. She was terrified and lay completely still for a while. When she started to get up, the man reappeared and threatened her again. He told her he would follow her and, if she told anyone, he would rape her again.
Amy lay there what seemed to her a very long time. When she got up the man did not reappear. She felt like vomiting. She walked into the water to clean herself and had a powerful urge to keep walking until she drowned. She was more ashamed than she had ever felt in her life. Gradually, she was able to think about finding her friends. It was embarrassing to walk back to the more populated part of the beach in a torn bathing suit. Her woman friend ran to her as soon as she saw Amy and put her arms around her as Amy muttered what had happened. They found a blanket. In the warmth of the blanket and her friend's arms, Amy sobbed briefly. By the time they found the other two Volunteers, Amy appeared almost calm. As the other woman explained what had happened, the men PCVs looked shocked. When they saw the strangely calm look on Amy's face, one started joking about how he had always wondered what it would be like to have sex with a stranger; the other put his arm around Amy because he noticed her trembling; he was feeling very angry at the attacker.