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When an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, gender-based violence became more frequent as women living in tent camps had few physical barriers to protect them. Jayne Fleming, pro bono counsel at the international law firm Reed Smith, had the unique idea that she would try to help these women secure humanitarian parole in the United States. The alternative, to do nothing, was not really an option. The likelihood of survival for these women—the ones who she and teams of attorneys eventually represented in applying for humanitarian parole—was bleak, as the conditions in Haiti and their physical and/or emotional conditions made them vulnerable to further gender-based violence or even death.

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