Peace Corps

When A Rape Ends, Its Echoes Never Do

May 2, 2015
Yarra Zaslow

 

Here is the full account of her rape written by Yaara Zaslow and featured in Saturday's Sound Effect show "Coming Out" on KPLU. This article originally appeared in Jezebel. It is reposted with permission.

Three months after I was raped, I fractured two of my molars from grinding my teeth while I was sleeping. I woke up every night to the sound of a door breaking open, wood splintering: a sound that existed entirely in my memory.

Before that, I’d served in Burkina Faso in West Africa with the United States Peace Corps. I was raped, and because I did everything “right” afterwards—I talked to the Peace Corps, talked to the Embassy, completed a rape kit—I didn’t understand the nausea that came over me whenever I did anything aside from hide in my bed. Soon after, I was evacuated from the country with a canvas backpack and a change of clothes. I stayed home, in Seattle, for three months, while the Peace Corps did a full investigation.

Peace Corps

The King County sheriff wants to make his police force more culturally aware. So he’s come up with a plan that includes putting former Peace Corps volunteers on the payroll.

Sheriff John Urquhart says the force is “becoming more male and more white every single year," and that's a problem because the force should better reflect the increasingly diverse community.

"And that means we need all colors, we need all races, we need all genders, and we need LGBT, you name it,” Urquhart said.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Maybe it’s something in the water: Washington schools top the lists of large, medium and small colleges producing the most Peace Corps volunteers. It’s the first time one state has dominated all three categories of the Peace Corps’ list.