….Haiti’s judicial system is largely based on French law dating back to the 19th century. Until 2005, rape was not even considered a crime against the victim. Rather it was a crime against morals — or against the honour of the family.
“One of our biggest challenges is that our laws are no longer up-to-date,” Gonzague said. “We need to modernize them. Everyone agrees that sexual violence laws need to be updated.”
The new legislation is due to be submitted to Haiti’s parliament in the next few weeks.
….“The draft legislation includes many new provisions crucial to ensuring Haitian women and girls are protected. These provisions include a clear and expanded definition of rape, incest and sexual violence, and trainings for medical, legal and judiciary personnel and enforcement officers around questions of violence against women.”
….“There are those within the judicial system who could use this legislation as a tool to improve women’s lives,” Davis said. “But there is also a critical lack of capacity within the Haitian government generally, and particularly within the judicial system, especially following the earthquake.”