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Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 12:43pm

Peace Corps Bill Nears Passage

Updated: 3 years ago.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson says the protection measures for Peace Corps volunteers in a bill he is co-sponsoring likely would have saved the life of a Georgia woman murdered shortly after reporting a colleague was allegedly molesting young girls. Kate Puzey was volunteering with the Peace Corps in Benin in Africa. (Photo Courtesy of Office of Sen. Johnny Isakson.)

Peace Corps volunteers will get whistleblower protection and more sexual assault training under a bill passed this week by the U.S. Senate.

Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson co-sponsored the measure in response to the 2009 murder of a Georgia woman in Benin, Africa, where she was working with the Peace Corps. Kate Puzey was killed soon after she reported a colleague for allegedly molesting some young girls.

“It probably would’ve prevented the unfortunate murder from having taken place because she would’ve had a more secure way to communicate sensitive information and be protected,” Isakson said.

He became involved in the effort after reading about Puzey’s murder and attending her funeral.

The bill also would create a victim’s advocate in the Peace Corps.

Isakson said the Corps has already hired an advocate and implemented many of the protections in the bill, expecting it will pass.

The bill is due on the House floor next week. Isakson said he is hopeful it will be passed and signed by the president by mid October.

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