The Safety of the Volunteer

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The Safety of the Volunteer is an annual report published by the Crime Statistics and Analysis Unit of the Peace Corps Office of Safety and Security.


The mission of the Office of Safety and Security is to foster improved communication, coordination, oversight, and accountability for all of the Peace Corps’ safety and security efforts. One of the responsibilities of the Office of Safety and Security is to track all crime events against Volunteers. The Safety of the Volunteer provides summary statistics for the previous calendar year. It also provides information on trends over the previous 10 years within the three Peace Corps regions: the Africa region; the Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia (EMA) region; and the Inter-America and the Pacific (IAP) region.


The two-fold objective of this publication is to:

  • Identify and analyze trends in safety and security conditions among Volunteers; and
  • Provide useful observations regarding trends in an effort to maximize the security of Volunteers and staff.

Data Source

The data used to prepare this report comes from the Crime Incident Reporting Form (CIRF). In 2006, the CIRF replaced the Assault Notification and Surveillance System (ANSS), in use since 1990, and the property crimes sections of the Epidemiologic Surveillance System (ESS), in use since 1993. Both systems were utilized and managed by the Office of Medical Services (OMS) to capture reports of Volunteer safety incidents. They were both manual reporting systems that required posts to complete incident reports and fax them to OMS for database entry.

The CIRF was developed to transition the crime reporting system from this paper-based system to a more efficient software solution. The CIRF was implemented at the beginning of 2006 as a temporary electronic solution that would begin to streamline and automate the agency’s crime incident reporting process until a more state-of-theart application was completed. The new reporting system, a Smart Client application built upon web services, is due to be released in early 2008.

When a crime is reported to post by a Volunteer, the information is collected by the Peace Corps country director (CD) or other staff designated by the CD and is electronically submitted to headquarters via the CIRF application. With the advent of the CIRF, the more severe incidents are also categorized as “violent crimes” and the less severe ones as “non-violent crimes.” Incidents labeled as “violent crimes” require notification to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigative unit within the first 24 hours. The CIRF collects information on the following incidents:

  • Four types of sexual assault (rape, attempted rape, major sexual assault, and other sexual assault);
  • Six types of physical assault (kidnapping, aggravated assault, major physical assault, death threat, intimidation, and other physical assault);
  • Five types of property crime (robbery, burglary with Volunteer present, burglary without Volunteer present, theft, and vandalism);
  • Five types of death (homicide, suicide, accidental, illness, and indeterminate cause); and
  • The category of unknown, which captures events that do not meet the definitions of the reported incident categories.

Past Reports

The Safety of the Volunteer 2009
The Safety of the Volunteer 2008
The Safety of the Volunteer 2007
The Safety of the Volunteer 2006
The Safety of the Volunteer 2005
The Safety of the Volunteer 2004
The Safety of the Volunteer 2003
The 2002 Annual Report of Volunteer Safety

In 2002 the report was entitled 'The 2002 Annual Report of Volunteer Safety'; the current format of the title is 'The Safety of the Volunteer 2006'.

(Note: The reports for 2005 and 2004 are currently available on Peace Corps' website. The reports for 2006, 2003, and 2002 were obtained from Peace Corps, by request, using the Freedom of Information Act. All reports are in public domain)

See also

The Health of the Volunteer

FOIA Request #09-085