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Updated April 2014
6,000 Raped Haitian Girls Need Your Help

Helping 6,000 allegedly raped girls in Haiti earthquake refugee camps

PLEASE HELP US!! SET AN EXAMPLE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD FOR PROTECTING REFUGEE CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS.

HELP US SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR THE 6,000 ALLEGEDLY RAPED CHILDREN WHO ARE NOW LIVING IN HAITIAN EARTHQUAKE REFUGEE CAMPS

       

We are giving support to a major mental health and legal effort in Haiti. It started with our guided activity workbooks.The Haitian psychologist Frandy Daniel, M.A. who applied to our agency for help, had been inspired by his love of protecting Haitian children. In that process he found a guided activity workbook Creole edition this agency created and distributed to thousands of Haitian children following the big 2010 earthquake which killed over 200,000 persons. He has been appalled to find -- along with about 10 colleagues -- that over 6,000 girls living in earthquake refugee camps have been raped. He is modifying the Creole workbook with my help, to make it even more useful as a structure for brief therapy of the raped girls. Despite complaining and begging for protection, nothing had been done for them, and the rapes become repetitive traumas ignored by the institutions sheltering and helping feed the refugees. Prosecution of the perpetrators is part of our plan and some attorneys in Haiti and the U.S. are lending some helping hands at our agency's suggestion.

 

I hope that this current project will be an example for those sheltering children amidst disasters and wars. The protection of children from regressed and predatory adults should become a regular feature of rescue missions -- instead of assaults of children being hidden from view, heart and mind.

So far, large rescue organizations which could help financially and logistically are not yet protective about the raping of children. That is despite what we as psychoanalysts know is the start of intergenerational traumas on a large scale.

Results are coming fast. We started our project for raped Haitian children at the end of September 2012 and less than a week later already 200 warrants have been issued for arrests of rapists. Over 45 are now already in jail. Ten courts have opened to deal with the cases.

 

We need major funding to support our Haitian colleagues. Please let me know how you would like to help. I am at 415 706 7010 for personal discussion. You can contribute to our 501C3 tax-deductible agency online by clicking here.



Gilbert Kliman, M.D. visits refuge camp Haiti bloc.  The following parent permitted photos and videos were taken October 20,2012- January 13, 2013.

                                

                                            

 

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED ON THE
INTERNATIONALPSYCHOANALYSIS.NET WEBSITE ON JANUARY 12, 2013

 

Child-rape Rates of 300/month in Seven Haitian Earthquake Refugee Camps Are Dropping to Zero

   

  Frandy Daniel, M.A.                            Gilbert Kliman, M.D.                  Jodie Kliman, Ph.D.

 

Summary: The authors (Frandy Daniel, M.A. and Gilbert Kliman, M.D.) have initiated a surprisingly effective means of child-rape prevention in the squalid tent cities created for people displaced by Haitian earthquake survivors, where the rape of girls and women had become endemic.  It involves parents of rape victims initiating explicit requests for help in getting media attention for their daughters’ ordeals.

They do so in their expectation that public attention to the crime of rape would help their daughters’ safety, in combination with other efforts to change the culture of the camps toward respect for the dignity of all its residents. The repeated requests by Haitian parents of rape victims for public attention stands in stark contrast to the expected request for privacy following child-rape.

Public television as well as previously unresponsive police and court authorities are being contacted by our project when requested by rape survivors and their parents.  This project is a joint intervention of two agencies – UNEV in Haiti and the Children’s Psychological Health Center in the U.S. Recent data indicate a remarkable downward shift of child-raping in seven dangerous refugee camps since this project began: a drop to zero from a previous 300 child-rapes per month rate.  

This drop occurred after two external social media events: 1) the first coverage in one of the camps, by a U.S. television station and 2) the first visit to Haiti by a U.S. team, who made resident-requested videos and Skype communications to the United States of meetings with rape survivors and their parents. The complaining families and the project team hoped these videos and skypes would be publicly shown to help their cause.  

This use of social media for protest and protection of children can be considered as a step toward a “girl’s and women’s spring” to stand up against rape, analogous to the use of social media to notify the world of human rights abuses in the Arab spring. 

1) Project origins: Frandy Daniels, M.A. of UNEV Haiti originated the project in January 2012 by taking a tent-by-tent census of six refugee camps populated by 300,000 residents, of whom almost 40% were minor children.  He and ten assistants interviewed camp-dwelling parents and minors and found that 6,000 minor children living there had allegedly been raped in the camps. The census was conducted by 10 mental health care workers, all Haitian, working in pairs, between January, 2012 and September, 2012.  This indicated a child-rape-rate of about 300 children a month or an average of 50 child-rapes a month in an average camp, among the six camps.  Later, a seventh camp was visited and information on rapes gathered by Kliman. There had been no arrest warrants, prosecutions or jailings of alleged child rapists in the seven camps during the post-earthquake two year eight month period. (Report by Kofaviv, CNN, Dec 10, 2012).  

2) International Coordination: Frandy Daniel had noted the reflective network therapy method introduced to Haiti in in January 2010 by The Children’s Psychological Health Center (CPHC) and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) in the form of a bilingual Haitian Creole and French-language guided activity workbook for child and family earthquake survivors. This workbook was intended to harness small reflective networks, that is, small groups of caring adults and/or peers who could help children to understand and put language to their experience.  He reached out to the senior authors of the workbook, Gilbert Kliman MD and Jodie Kliman, Ph.D. for advice, consultation and financial support. Financial support from CPHC was modest, totaling under $20,000, but Dr. Gilbert Kliman, a forensic child psychiatrist, traveled to Haiti to offer advice and consultation about creating a large-scale reflective social network process with forensic components and to meet directly with victims and their families.  To fortify the children’s forensic cases, CPHC sent written letters of notice of crimes against children and offered assistance to the Ministers of Justice, Haitian police, and courts -- none of whom had previously brought a single child rapist to justice for crimes in the earthquake refugee camps.   

3) Bearing Witness to the World:  Channel Two KTVU of San Francisco was informed of the project and anchorman John Fowler conducted an interview with two of the authors (FD and GK) and several permitting families with children complaining to Mr. Fowler of un-prosecuted rapes. This interview aired October 9, 2012 6 P.M. and was made available by online linkage through www.ktvu.com.  During the next two days Frandy went with his laptop and wireless internet to show each of six camps and showed the internet version of the interview.  There was a very positive response, with multiple requests for more such documentation and informing the world by television. This resident-initiated request at the seventh camp was contrary to Haitian cultural attitudes familiar to Frandy and others regarding rape in Haiti.                                   

1Kliman, G., Kliman, J., Ferdinand, D., Hudicourt, C. & Ferdinand, A., Oklan, E. & Wolfe, H. (2010). My Own Story about the Earthquake in Haiti (Histwa Pa M Sou Tranblemannte Ayiti). San Francisco and Boston: The Children’s Psychological Health Center and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. [retrieved from http://www.childrenspsychologicalhealthcenter.org/content/view/62/44/.}  

4) An unexpected family insistence on no privacy: Haitian parents requested that the world be told of their daughters being raped.  Instead of requiring privacy for what many Haitians, and people world-wide, would consider a shameful personal event, 200 residents of Camp Haiti Bloc (the seventh camp studied) insisted on having the opportunity to reach out to the outside world to bear witness to trauma. This proactive stance can be understood as both validating of their daughters’ and their own traumatic experiences, and as offering outsiders, including Americans, the opportunity to serve as compassionate witnesses. These witnesses are expected to become aware of the violational nature of endemic rape and violence against impoverished girls and women. The witnesses are expected to be empowered to act in solidarity with those girls, women, and their families (Weingarten, 2008, 2004, 2000). In that spirit, one of the American authors (GK) flew to Haiti to the seventh camp to bear witness and another (JK) participated as a witness, via Skype. 

The seventh camp: A group of 200 Haitian refugee camp residents, in the Haiti Bloc camp, which the senior author (FD) had never previously visited before the KTVU broadcast, directly asked Dr. Daniel if he could arrange for a visit from the United States child psychiatrist (GK).  This happened because a resident of Haiti Bloc saw the KTVU online link while it was being shown to citizens at Camp Cité de Soleil.  Thus he knew Kliman had been on U.S. TV about rapes in the camps.  

He brought this information verbally to Haiti Bloc.  The Haiti Bloc Citizens Committee then contacted Frandy Daniels. They made it clear that they wanted the outside world to know how their children and they were helpless against rapists, who had impunity to rape young girls and to assault anyone who tried to protect them. 

Upon short notice, two days of speaking events were arranged (October 20, 21 2012) for Dr. Kliman at Camp Haiti Bloc, which is near Port-au-Prince airport. KTVU was unable to coordinate its crew for the timing, so the clinicians FD and GK made videotapes and the CPHC Executive Director Skyped one meeting from San Francisco. Jodie Kliman, Ph.D. Skyped another meeting from Boston.  When Dr. Jodie Kliman, Skyping into the second one of the two community meetings in the camp, told the families that she would tell her colleagues and students of the rapes and other violence they had experienced, the entire assembly applauded. They communicated their strong desire to have the violation of their human rights and dignity witnessed outside of Haiti and responded to with protective actions and a stance of solidarity that local and national authorities had failed to take.  

It seemed as though these girls and their parents had taken in the lessons of the media’s impact on the Arab Spring.  The American authors also remember this strategy in the U.S. civil rights movement; when African Americans were being denied basic human rights and lynched with impunity. The media and the nation took no notice – until white northerners lost their lives to the struggle and their deaths were publicized. The parents, girls, and the citizen groups in the camps were taking an active, self-respecting stance in turning to the outside for witnessing and assistance; the alternative was no end to the rapes and retaliatory violence against rape victims family members who tried to protect loved ones. Thus we began to think of these families’ request for social media use as aimed beyond personal psychological healing; rather it may have constituted an act of collective resistance against oppressive social systems which had ignored and therefore ratified raping of especially vulnerable displaced and impoverished girls and women.

Dr. Gilbert Kliman had complied with this surprising request for public exposure rather than privacy by flying to Haiti to visit Camp Haiti bloc with the hope that KTVU would cover the meeting.  Although this hope was dashed by KTVU’s logistic problems, he conducted and videotaped two large meetings, which could be understood as large-scale reflective network sessions (Kliman, 2011) in which caring adults help children to narrate and make meaning of painful experience; they can also be understood as compassionate witnessing sessions (Weingarten, 2000, 2004, 2008.) with the 200 residents witnessed by each other and by outsiders.

The residents who came publicly shared their parenting agonies with him. They seemed to regard the authors as capable of informing the world about their children's unprotected status. They showed machete wounds fathers had suffered the day before, in an unsuccessful fighting off of raping bandits. Most importantly, they urged their raped children at the meeting to come forward and address Daniel, Kliman and the video cameras, as well as a Skype set up linked to Jodie Kliman, Ph.D., a Guided Activity Workbook coauthor.  Another Skype was set up for CPHC’s executive director, Jessie Rios, who was able to record part of the event.  Two video cameras were used to tape the entirety of the events.   

Repeated inquiries were made to the adults as to whether they wished strangers to know of their children’s sexual assault experiences.  Their responses were to urge the authors to tell the world by television.  Having been similarly cautioned that they might be publicly seen on television, 33 children came forward nonetheless, some reporting rapes at ages as young as 10 years. An eight-year-old girl reported she had witnessed her friends being raped. A 17 year old reported on feeling suicidal and worthless every morning since being raped and having been falsely reassured by an agency that her rapist would be prosecuted. She said she did not want her community to know she was suicidal, yet she talked directly to the two authors present (FD and GK), into two video cameras, and to the Skype image of the third author (JK). The former two authors interviewed several more children in private, gathering forensically-relevant information and bearing witness to the girls’ violations and the effects of the traumas.  

RESULTS:  

a) Death threats: Not unexpectedly, the project was dangerous to Dr. Daniel in particular from its beginnings, as he was there in person and had initiated the project. We had anticipated this risk and CPHC hired a bodyguard for him.  Ten census-taking colleagues of his had already resigned under pressure of death threats received September 24 through October 4, 2012.He soon received 200 death threats in the weeks after October 21, after the videotaping sessions.  On October 22, 2012, he survived a knife attack; Dr. Daniel’s knife-wielding assailant was overpowered by a bodyguard and arrested.  Seven girls were provided safe housing because of special threats by fire and tear gas, from which neighbors protected them. Within days, two judges tried to bribe Dr. Daniel to stop his project, unsurprising in a country known for its largely corrupt judiciary and police force. These two judges were dismissed following CPHC’s written complaints to the Minister of Justice.  

In all seven camps, the rate of warrants and jailings for sexual assault on children had been zero for the two and a half years preceding the UNEV project, according to the anti-rape group, Kofaviv (CNN interview, Dec. 10, 2012) Since the September 2012 onset of the UNEV-CPHC joint project, however, 6 175 arrest warrants have been issued concerning alleged rapists and 51 alleged rapists are in jail.  The death threats have dropped to almost zero against Dr. Daniels but not against the complaining families in the past two weeks, as of this writing. Dr. Daniels has the opinion that the rapists’ families, who were the explicitly identified sources of some of the threats, have spread the word that the project is proceeding with U.S. and U.N. support, rather than relying solely upon previously low priority given by Haitian resources to child-rape, and is going to persist in trying to gain justice for raped girls.  

Some rapists’ families have suggested to others that his perseverance probably means Dr. Daniels is covertly employed by the U.S. Government.  Many alleged rapist’s families are trying to make substantial civil settlements, apparently regarded as a kind of reparation for the allegedly raped girls.  While not criminal prosecutions, such settlements being costly may also provide deterrence against future rapes. 

Public Health and Human Rights Triumph:  Since the resident-initiated videotaped visit to Haiti Bloc, in October, 2012, the Citizens Committees of the six surveyed camps and the seventh visited camp  continue to report to UNEV weekly.  Remarkably, the seven camps’ Citizens’ Committees report that rate of reported child-raping has dropped from over 300 per month in the seven camps combined, down to zero.  

Although threats against complaining girls and their families persist, they are being reported to police.  There has been no further retaliation against girls who register police complaints about rape. These remarkable child-rape prevention results have now persisted for six weekly reports. It is far beyond random possibility and represents a public health and human rights triumph. 

DISCUSSION: Following the existence of this externally supported and collaborative project becoming evident to many Haitians in displaced persons tent-city camps who had heard of the KTVU broadcast, we began to realize the importance of Anderson Cooper's phrase: "the world is watching." We recognized this video-inclusive service, including publicity via commercial television, exposes criminals who are capable of stopping themselves. Their self-preservative and moral functions were enhanced by a world with watchful eyes and listening ears. Exposure and threats of punishment were events to which rapists were not accustomed in this particular nation.  In addition, families and neighbors, no longer found themselves helpless to protect and support the girls and women in their lives. They found themselves empowered by their acts of bearing extremely public witness to the human rights violations to which they and their loved ones were subjected. They took ownership of their ability to act as a protective community.  Having been witnessed by compassionate outsiders, they could better witness – and advocate – for themselves and their loved ones and neighbors. 

It is noteworthy that rape was long used as a tool of political repression in Haiti during and after the Duvalier regime (Human Rights Watch, 1994). For hundreds of years until 2005, rape had not even been a crime in Haiti (Penal Code of Haiti, Legislative Decree, August 11, 2005). The delayed arrival of systematic and institutionalized morality and justice for women and girls in particular can be understood as a vestige first of colonialism and then of neocolonial dictatorship and continued exploitation of the poor. European and then Haitian systems of exploitation had placed the least possible value on slaves, and female slaves especially. As in the U.S., female slaves and servants, including children were raped with impunity and little or no twinge of conscience. Though self-liberated far sooner than any other nation in the world, Haitians have become only legally free of slavery, so long as mass incidence of raping, sexual and labor exploitation continues. We think Haitian large-scale psychological processes were still partly being modeled on exploitive colonial processes. The dominant discourse of the Haitian society promoted impunity for raping. 

Though still in its earliest stages of intervention processes, our rape-prevention project may have been a catalyst for change that was getting ready to happen in Haiti. Perhaps it provided just the right amount of community self-monitoring and self-empowerment, and collective superego reinforcement by way of external witnessing to produce a strikingly measurable impact. It improved the treatment by both impoverished and economically privileged men and older boys of impoverished, homeless girls in an extremely vulnerable situation. Camp life, in which people live in unprotected tents, and must leave  the camps to access water and latrines, creates a physical situation in which girls are easy prey. Now, girls and women, as well as men, are changing; girls are feeling more empowered as arrests mount, and men are realizing they can no longer rape with impunity.  

In contexts and societies in which most people can exercise little control over their lives, those with power can freely dominate those without, who often feel unable to resist the practices of domination. Such practices of domination as rape and violence world-wide – whether by sectarian militias, colonialist slave holders, representatives of post-colonial repressive regimes or failed democracies, violent paramilitary groups like the Duvaliers’Tonton Macoutes2, or by renegade individuals – are often rationalized and even seen as justified by religious, and political discourses of individual helplessness. This arrangement allows and even gives implicit permission to the powerful (whether dictators and their friends, landowners, or individual men) to rape, kill, and otherwise exploit, unabated.  It pressures victims and those who witness violation into silent submission, in ways that have a ring familiar to the decades-long cover-ups priests’ sexual abuse of child victims in the U.S. and elsewhere.  

This hope-deadening situation was somewhat reversed by the social media techniques and related activation of the potential power of community used in this project. Essentially, a collective commitment to protect children rather than to prey upon them, which many individuals shared, but which had been stymied by the corruption of judicial and police practices that left tent cities completely vulnerable to violent and rapacious forces, was facilitated by establishing witnesses in the outside world, as transmitted by the video-including process.  This new development was strengthened greatly with its threats of naming and exposing the rapists, along with unprecedented numbers of actual arrests and prosecutions. These new events required the protection of an international public eye.  In the Arab Spring, social media brought the plight of millions of people to the attention of the world. In Haiti, the values of freedom from violence and human rights violations held by so many Haitian citizens, even in the face of massive violation of those values, have begun to burst forth. This could happen in part because those values, and their large-scale violation (White, 2005) were finally publicly and compassionately witnessed (Weingarten, 2000, 2008) by distant people who could not be endangered by their witnessing and who could lend some degree of safety and validation to the people of Haiti’s tent cities.

The causes, generalizability, sustainability and permanence of these good effects remain central questions in our continuing and expanding protective and therapeutic endeavors.  We are seeking and have been promised United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) support over a period of three years for those purposes. 

---------------- 

Acknowledgements:  We thank the Haitian Minister of Justice, Jean Renel Sanon for his support of our endeavors while he was burdened by many other important tasks;

The Haitian Director of Police, who provided additional patrols at difficult times; KTVU Channel Two of San Francisco for its timely intervention on behalf of Haitian minor girls; and the office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi for its  support in obtaining an expedited visa to the U.S. for Dr. Frandy Daniel.  

The Tonton Macoutes were a fearsome group organized during the Duvalier dictatorship, originally named for a Haitian “bogeyman” who stole away children, and then renamed as the Milice de Voluntaires de la Securité Nationale (Volunteers for National Security).

We are grateful to Dr. Ronald Jean-Jacques, president of the Haitian Psychological Association, for his verbal endorsement and offers  of help with hiring future mental health staff in Haiti.  We thank the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and its president, Nicholas Covino, Psy.D., for their invaluable assistance in creating and printing a Creole and French workbook for child survivors of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which brought Dr. Daniel’s attention to CPHC and facilitated this joint effort.

We are particularly grateful to Dorothie Ferdinand, Psy.D., a Haitian-born then-MSPP doctoral student, Ms. Caroline Hudicourt, M.A., the principal of Ekòl Akasya in Petionville, Haiti, and Ms. Antonine Ferdinand, whose coauthorship, knowledge of Haitian culture and language, and translation were all invaluable. The Board of CPHC contributed financial support. The American Red Cross contributed a vital large tent for interviewing victims.  

For more information, write to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

To download a free copy of the Guided Activity Workbook regarding the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, go to http://www.childrenspsychologicalhealthcenter.org/content/view/62/44/.   

References

Kliman, G. (2011). Reflective Network Therapy in the preschool classroom. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. 

Kliman, G., Kliman, J., Ferdinand, D., Hudicourt, C. & Ferdinand, A., Oklan, E. & Wolfe, H. (2010). My Own Story about the Earthquake in Haiti (Histwa Pa M Sou Tranblemannte Ayiti). San Francisco and Boston: The Children’s Psychological Health Center and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. [electronic version retrieved

from http://www.childrenspsychologicalhealthcenter.org/content/view/62/44/.  

Kofaviv, CNN, Dec 10, 2012. 

Penal Code of Haiti, Legislative Decree, August 11, 2005). 

Weingarten, K. (2008). The four witnessing positions. [electronic version retrieved from 

www.witnessingproject.org]. 

Weingarten, K. (2004). Witnessing the effects of political violence in families: Mechanisms of 

intergenerational transmission and interventions. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30

(1), 45-59.  

Weingarten, K. (2000) Witnessing, wonder, and hope. Family Process, 39 (4), 389-402. 

White, M. (2005). Children, trauma and subordinate story line development. International Journal of 

Narrative Therapy and Community Work, Nos. 3/4, 10-21. [electronic version retrieved from 

www.dulwichcentre

Sincerely, 9

Gilbert Kliman, 

Medical Director

 

Click Here to Read:    Child-rape Rates of 300/month in Seven Haitian Earthquake Refugee Camps Are Dropping to Zero by Gilbert Kliman, M.D. of the The Children’s Psychological Health Center, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 Haiti: Child Rape, an Analyst’s Interventions, Part 1, by Gil Kliman, MD

“Haiti:  Child Rape, an Analyst’s Interventions”

Gil Kliman, MD, a child analyst based in San Francisco who trained at NYPSI, has been working with Haitian colleagues since September 2012 to combat the prevalence of child rape in the tent camps that have existed since Haiti’s earthquake.

–Nathan Szajnberg, M.D., Managing Editor

HAITI CHILD RAPE PREVENTION PROJECT   Medical Director’s Log  January 9, 2013

We started our child-rape prevention project in Haiti September 2012, at the invitation of Frandy Daniel, PhD, a Haitian psychologist who reached out from a tiny Haitian nonprofit called UNEV to our tiny San Francisco on profit agency. He did so because of our agency’s Creole language guided activity

workbook for survivors of the January 2010 earthquake.  Dr. Daniel thought ours was the only meaningful mental health resource produced so far for the huge tasks, and was asking for help with a particular aspect of survivorship traumas.  Could we as an agency, could I as an individual, help his own agency to develop a preventive and treatment project for the six thousand raped girls he and his nine colleagues had found in the seven refugee camps he had studied?   No one was prosecuting the rapists, who were repeatedly raping the same and more girls, to the despair of the children and parents. No one was psychologically supporting the raped girls, or attending to the psychological needs of their four hundred unintended babies and toddlers. I was staggered by the faith he had in me, the magnitude of the tasks, and how well this invitation to partner in a trauma project might fit with my life plans.

Frandy was a hero.  He survived the earthquake deaths of his brother, mother and father, and was not deterred by threats of rapists.  He had found me at the peak of my forensic as well as clinical and investigative career. I was possibly a good match for what he needed, and each of us had what the other lacked. He did not know how to write grants or administer complex projects.  I was familiar and skilled in both tasks.  While he sought help after heroically finding a great need (more about how he found out will appear in later logs), I was simultaneously having difficulty seeking those who knew they needed me. I was at a time of self-scrutiny about what little more I could achieve at a still lively and cognitively functional age 83.  Experience was constantly confirming how impractically slow and hard it was to gain invitations and funds for major child psychiatry projects concerning traumatized young children. Some evidence-based techniques and interventional strategies had been gestating in my mind and some in reality for decades.  For over 70 years my heroes had been public health pioneers, Lister, Koch, Pasteur, Semmelweiss. I had founded the Center for Preventive Psychiatry 49 years ago with those childhood heroes still guiding me.

Frandy had an open and highly needy field in which to work. In contrast, I found my United States locations increasingly hard to open, unwilling to face children’s interpersonal needs, bureaucratized, resistant to preventive and early interventions, pharmacologically hell-bent. They were unlikely to accept any major proposals about large scale relational aspects of prevention.  Frandy on the other hand knew that the U.N. was trying to get him to make multi-million dollar proposals to remedy or at least reduce the child-raping they believed was going on massively in earthquake refugee camps.  Could I help harness that desire of the U.N. to assist Frandy Daniel? You could be sure I would try.

My log should report that Haiti is fortunately not quite the same today, January 10th 2013, as when I first visited in October 19-24 2012.  Although the NY Times has reported worsened crime conditions, andthe State Department’s gave severe travel security warnings this week, child-raping has dropped to zero since October 22nd at the seven tent camps in what is now Frandy Daniel’s and my agency’s joint project.  Three hundred thousand Haitian had been displaced into these seven camps by the January 2010 earthquakes. Prior to our joint intervention program, over 6,000 Haitian children were reportedly raped according to the census taken by my Haitian colleagues.  About 300 new cases of child rape were occurring monthly in the seven camps.   Since our October 21st and 22nd 2012 interventions and along with television coverage on Channel Two (San Francisco), we find there are zero child-rapes in those seven camps.  Furthermore, in a cultural shift, many Haitian girls have dared to speak up on public television, and their parents urge them to go public instead of pleading to hide in silent shame.  Now the rapists are ashamed, and even fearful.

In turn, the rapists also are threatening to kill the Haitian staff, especially Frandy.  We have hired a body guard for him, and one accompanies me when I visit refugee camps.

Stopping the rapes was startlingly sudden.  We look at it with amazement. Perhaps in the long run change will be slow. After a slow response to the earthquake, there appears to be more but still quite modest construction and road-enhancement.  Yet, even as infrastructure is being rebuilt, the undisguised evil that man can perpetrate on fellow man continues.  A U.S. family was kidnapped while I was visiting the Haitian national police chief.  I saw uniformed N.Y. City police were on hand to help meet the long, slow, small and large waves of crime.

This January visit, unlike my October visit, was not by private plane. I had immensely enjoyed that adventure, having been a far-traveled private pilot and still active and competent.  But time was important to conserve, so I came commercially this time.  After arriving on American Airlines, going through baggage retrieval, customs and a slow crawl through Hertz car rental, I planned our schedule with Frandy Daniel, and my bodyguard Henriquez, There had been many threats of death and bodily harm towards both Frandy and myself following our last meeting in October.   Then, at the hotel, after midnight, I learned about the two sharp-edged terrazo steps between my bedroom and bathroom. My shin, elbow and forearm scrapes did not hurt as much as the painful humbling lesson in aging and frailty.  One must be alert in Haiti, at all times of day and night.

Today we (Frandy Daniel, Henriquez and I) met with much-needed allies in our campaign to reduce child-raping in Haiti.  Jean Gardy Muscadin, is Commissioner of the Bureau of Child Protection in Haiti.  He is very pleased with our project and will help any way his office can, which is substantial. He said that some of the victims we have identified need political asylum to protect them against retaliation by particularly dangerous child-predators.  We are safe-housing three right now in Haiti.  Heartland Christian Academy’s Director of Girls’ Services wrote me she has room and will take these mortally threatened three girls if we can get the Haitian and U.S. Authorities to accept the reality of need.  Heartland will provide them with cost-free education, housing, board and a safe life in the US.   We are awaiting UNFPA funding to help safe-house the many others who are or will be threatened in the camp, since only three can go to the US. To our pleasant surprise, police are organizing to protect the victim-witnesses.  We have distributed camera equipped cell phones to committees of citizens at all seven camps and the police have changed from excuse-makers to rapid responders.  This is a big and vital cultural change, on which I will write later.

I  also met today with Alain Auguste the Chief of Haitian National Police in the Delmas region, a part of Port au Prince which has been remarkably cooperative with us.  I hope to meet the Mayor of Delmas tomorrow.  Alain is very  knowledgeable about the invisibility of children’s suffering from many forms of abuse in Haiti.  He welcomed my proposal of children’s public marches to thank (the Haitian police, courts, etc.  protecting them?). Many of the girls and families I know are ready for expressing gratitude to police and judges for their hard work.

Since September 2012,, the Haitian courts have issued 200 arrest warrants and jailing over 190 alleged rapists already since our two agencies — UNEV (Union to stop Raping of Children and Elders) and  Children’s Psychological Health Center-started this project.  Nothing remotely like our success has happened before in over 250 years to protect children against rape in Haiti. I have years of experience with large scale child molestation situations in the U.S., mixed experiences, with good and bad outcomes, increasingly good. Little compares to the – up to now — unmixed fates of already raped girls in Haiti, Some of their bellicose sexual predators have history of victim assassinations.  Since corrupt judges often rapidly release criminals in Haiti, we will soon report on how our project is working on a multi-pronged means of influencing the judicial system itself, to prevent corruption from allowing raping and intimidation with impunity.

Funding remains a concern.  There is no news from UN agency UNFPA yet about the millions they keep promising to give soon. Their grant may include modest funds for our agency to administer, guide and train the UNEV of Haiti clinicians, assist in the forensic aspects, supervise those clinicians in treating hundreds of victims, and provide safe houses for a small number.

Sean Penn philanthropically runs an 85,000 dweller camp here, and wants to meet me and Frandy.  He is deeply concerned by our findings.  Tomorrow, Frandy, Henriquez and I will meet the Prime Minister of Haiti.  Please stay tuned.

 

HAITI PROJECT LOG PART II: January 13, 2013 Gilbert Kliman, M.D.     

No, the Prime Minister didn’t meet with us.  Hugo Chavez or at least his sash was being inaugurated and Mr. Laurent Salvador Lamothe left us to the good offices of his very effective assistant, Allison Llera.  We took photographs and got lots of good advice.  Meanwhile, no more child-raping is occurring in the seven camps we serve and UNFPA still will not meet with me.

 

NO REST FOR THE AGED AND THE BEREAVED:  Still tired and sometimes limping from a fall and a traveler’s intestine, today I was to sleep late.  Our Project Director in Haiti, Frandy Daniel, was to recover from yesterday. It was his extremely sad earthquake anniversary day, memorializing the deaths of his earthquake-killed mother, father and brother. But Frandy woke me early, telling me his anxiety that we be promptly secure our budding and surprising alliance with local police. He reluctantly tells me he is also worried about his wife and her very advanced pregnancy, in which she and he differ about the wisdom of her continuing to work.  They love each other greatly and are soon to be blessed with a baby girl, already named.

 

A NEW ALLIANCE WITH POLICE:  we want our two agencies to fund the “children’s celebration of police” parade which I had suggested to Chief of Delmas Police, Alain Auguste.  He was very enthused that our agency wants to praise his department’s vigorous actions in their difficult task of arresting often dangerous accused rapists. About thirty percent are thugs surrounding the tent camps.  About 55 percent are neighbors living in tents, with angry family members protesting their accused family member being arrested for such a small crime.  Police often have a despairing struggle with the uselessness of arresting rapists.  There is not only police corruption, but police are discouraged by more serious corruption at local court levels such as judges accepting bribes to release rapists before trial.  Our own project can confirm the judicial corruption, as we have literally been offered bribes.  Once Frandy pretended to accept, photographed the money and returned it to the judge. Fortunately the two judges involved have now been dismissed, not only because of our complaints.  The Police Chief, Alain is a person we expect to rise in Haitian ranks. He controls police now in four camps of the seven our project serves. Fortunately he has a very deep understanding of some of the cultural, historical, community, parental, police and justice system problems in prosecution of child-rapists.

 

ANALYST AS WILLY SUTTON IN REVERSE:  After an entire two days of failed attempts by my agency to send me funds for a proposed girls’ parade, via Western Union, our executive director Jessie Rios had finally succeeded late last night. She needed to prove beyond reason that she had a valid purpose, valid identity, and the source and recipient were a humanitarian organization.  This morning, though no banks were open as they were yesterday, for us to deposit the money, we received it a lump of $8,000. We needed it to start our project’s bank account in Haiti. It was half in Haitian Gourdes, half in U.S.   We already knew of dangers to cash recipients in Haiti.  One working for MediShare was shot dead exiting a bank door with $15,000 cash in such a situation last year. Thus Frandy and I had a body guard and sped by a an unusual route back to my hotel.  There we had a hotel manager count, photograph, seal an envelope with the money and lock it away.  Frandy also used a ruse atWestern Union, saying I was leaving my hotel and headed for the airport, but he was still worried about our safety, saying “I know my country.”  Reversing Sutton’s caper, I had escaped the bank, with my agency’s own money, but with all the stealth as if a robber.

 

MORE ABOUT INNER STATE:  I increasingly think of my preventive medical heroes, Lister, Koch, Pasteur, Semmelweis, who formed my childhood ambitions and my preventive psychiatry career. My state of mind is increasingly brought back to civil rights days, 1945, my own precocious youth in the civil rights movement.  During wartime at age fifteen I was in college at the University of Cincinnati, then a staunchly racist Mason-Dixon Line town. There I formed a Fellowship Council and desegregated the university dormitory – formerly Whites Only.  Holding eat-ins and then a mixed race party at local segregated restaurants, my car was chased by a bartender whom I later learned was an armed Ku Klux Klanner.  My passengers and I barely escaped, mostly because the family car I had borrowed was fast and more agile than the chaser’s and I knew better than he the dark road to the safe haven of my own home’s driveway and garage.  Very quickly, the campus and restaurants all yielded to our fellowship council’s efforts.  During a spring break, another Cincinnatian and future psychoanalyst – Milton Bronstein — and I  traveled toMiamion a Greyhound bus, holding it a motionless hostage to its own racist policies by sitting in the back until a black woman was allowed to sit up front.  When the University of Cincinnati then wouldn’t accept me for long months, because I was a political radical, I gladly rejected their belated favorable decision and instead went to Harvard Medical School.  It seemed only days (it was years) before I was sewing scalps in anti-war riots in Washington D.C.  My son-in-law marched for civil rights in Selma, Alabama with Cheney and Goodman.  Perhaps that was part of my civil-rights active oldest daughter’s attraction.  She did her part for many years in that movement.  Now she, Jodie Kliman, Ph.D. is helping with this Haitian project and produced the Creole guided activity workbook which preceded the current phase.

 

Haitian civil rights today seem far less advanced today than even Cincinnati’s dismal status for blacks when I was there 68 years ago. They are based on a Creole vs. French language, shades of color and class system rather than mostly race.  Children certainly have fewer rights than any Haitians, and are raped with impunity.

 

I’m often thinking that the slavery imposed on Haiti was never really broken as advertised. Though legally free of slavery before any nation in the world, Haiti’s slavery lives on among the decendants of former slaves themselves.  There is not only grinding poverty, thanks largely as Paul Farmer states to oppression by other nations.  There is remarkably bad Haitian treatment of women and children, equivalent to how the old slave masters freely raped their female and child property.  Identifications with the rapacious colonial aggressors has remained powerful through centuries.

 

Though he is a youthful 29, heroic, multiply talented and multiply bereaved Frandy is reminding me of my gifted father’s struggles with the deaths of relatives around him and the struggles of my mother and grandmother to cope with whole family wipe-outs during in Russia.  My father’s Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, his guilty response to the death of his mother – as if he could have saved her from metastatic carcinoma if only he could have afforded to buy radium the doctors recommended.  Are these survivorships of my parents still pervading me, a hundred years later?  Am I, like Haitians, transgenerationally traumatized.  I think so, but I can do something about it for myself and them. 

HAITIAN VICTIMS WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW:

These citizens at Camp Haiti Bloc invited me to come from the U.S. They are happy because I promised to put their complaints on U.S. television.

AGONIZING EVALUEES AND A JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT RESPONDS:  This child’s mother wants the world to know of her baby’s plight.

 

Yesterday I saw a raped two year old rape victim who broke my heart.  She is still, numb, withdrawn, and has lost her language development.  How like my grandmother who was mute for three months in my very early childhood after learning that 15 of our Russian relatives were killed in a pogrom.  This baby’s mother permits her photos and videos to be seen by others and is demanding justice. The father of this child discovered her in the process of being raped in a nearby tent.  We are working to dissuade him from killing the rapist, who is still living in the camp.  If some of our grants go through we will be setting up a therapeutic day care and preschool for children like this girl.  A larger number of toddlers, four hundred babies born of rape since the earthquake – in just seven camps — are waiting to be served as their young mothers struggle with grave ambivalence.

 

In just a few minutes we are about to see a teen age girl who was given HIV by a rapist. After sending her for testing, we learned that neither of her parents have HIV. We are told the rapist has confessionally stated to police he was knowingly and deliberately spreading the disease in anger at an American woman who gave him the disease.  He now wants as many people as possible to die from HIV.

 

The teenage child, whom I am waiting to see as I write this, is one of twenty various kinds of child rape victims whose cases will be heard in what we hope will be an exemplary process in a high court. That is rather than as previously in lower courts where corruption was easier. That hearing may happen as soon as February 4th.  I want to be sure of the merits of the children’s complaints and if I find them credible, be able to back up their case with my videotaped evaluations.  Hopefully my decades of honing forensic skills informed by my psychoanalytic thinking will be applicable in a Haitian court. 

MORE PROGRESS: Almost three months have gone by since I visited Haiti last.  In that time, in the seven camps with 300,000 residents we are serving, child rapes have dropped from 300 a month to zero and are holding at zero.  If this result keeps holding we will have prevented 900 children from being raped by January 22nd.  The cost?  Thirty thousand dollars of our U.S. agency’s funds have been expended. Thirty dollars per child rape prevented.   Do you like that cost-benefit?

 

WHY YOU SHOULD STAY TUNED:  Learn about the Girls’ Marching soon with Police.  Is it going to become like an Arab Spring?  Will the UN’s UNFPA really ever fund our project as they say repeatedly say it is worthy and they will?   What else must Frandy do to persuade UNFPA still further and further of his and our capacity and integrity?  Will the influential Mayor of Delmas Meet with us?   Will Frandy be assaulted again?  Does our distribution of cell phones with cameras work to help stop child rapes in Haitian tent cities?  How safe from retaliation am I and the complaining victims, children sometimes threatened and sometimes victims of further bodily harm?  What is the effect on potential child rapists of being “watched” via camp committee meetings, US Television programs and now cell phone cameras?  Is there other research supporting or explaining the remarkable effectiveness of our project?  Can an 83 year old  psychoanalyst continue to do much more that is worthwhile in a strange and violent land?  Why is it not so strange and uncannily resembles his own English speaking, white, Jewish, inner world?

 

If you like a high cost-benefit ratio for your philanthropy send money via www.childrenspsychological.org.  I promise Frandy and the Children’s Psychological Health Center will use it parsimoniously and well to prevent many children from being raped.  Never in Haiti has this happened before, or perhaps in any refugee camps, that so many raped children have benefitted and so many child rapes prevented with such little cost.

 

 

PLEASE CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO WATCH VIDEOS REGARDING HAITI

Thirty-Three Raped Children at Camp Haiti Bloc

Prevention & Response to Child Rape in Haiti 

 
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