A bill sponsored by Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson to give whistleblower protection to Peace Corps volunteers passed on 406-0 vote in the U.S. House Tuesday. Now the measure is headed to the president’s desk.
The act is named for Peace Corps volunteer Kate Puzey, a Georgia woman who was killed in West Africa after she reported a colleague for allegedly molesting some young girls in the village.
“Kate was a remarkable young woman who unselfishly went to Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer and was tragically murdered while helping others,” Isakson said in a news release. “Through the Kate Puzey Volunteer Protection Act, Kate’s life will be memorialized by this new law to provide added protections, victims’ rights and whistleblower status for Peace Corps volunteers.”
The bill also requires the Corps to develop new sexual assault training and hire a victim’s advocate.
Isakson said in a September interview with GPB that the protections in the bill probably would have saved Puzey’s life because she would have had a more secure way to report her allegations.
He said the Peace Corps has already implemented many of the measures required in the bill in anticipation of its passage.