(WASHINGTON) -- Republican lawmakers said Thursday they will conduct hearings into allegations that women who worked for the Peace Corps were routinely raped and sexually assaulted, then given little help by the agency to deal with the trauma.
The planned hearings were spurred by an ABC News-20/20 investigation into accusations of over one thousand American women who were raped and attacked over the past ten years.
The 20/20 report featured interviews with some of the women who claimed to have been brutalized while working for the Peace Corps in foreign countries. They said the agency's culture is one that blames the victim, often asking them what they did to cause the attacks.
Congressman Ted Poe of Texas expressed both fury and sadness after having watched the 20/20 report and called for a hearing.
Vowing to be an advocate for the women, Poe said, "The Peace Corps needs to get its act together and make sure the victims of rape have peace of mind when they are serving the United States."
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