Introduction

It all started when a local newspaper published my rape story. I was called into James Freeman office to be told by James Freeman, Lt. Patricia Tutalo, Lt. Thomas Gwilliam and Commander Joseph Segalla to no longer speak to others about my rape. They were angry that I, an E-3 took it upon herself to inform the public that I was raped and that my command did absolutely NOTHING TO HELP ME. They were concern not about their lack of response to help a shipmate that was raped, they were concern not about the threats that I was receiving from my own shipmates but instead they were concern on how this would this look like for the Coast Guard reputation.  The next day I was handed a DD-214 and knew that I was given the liberty to speak.

The next few years I had the opportunity to share my story with members of the Congress, on national television and in several books including one that been taught in college history classes nationwide. I shared my story while on stage before 20,000 people and shared my story one-on-one with the new XO of the very unit that I reported my rape, in the very room. Each and every time I get to share my story I become stronger and know I am no longer that E-3 rape victim but a woman that survived something horrendous and lived to speak about it.

As I share my command’s response to my rape allegations, the civilian public jaws drop. How can a woman, in this day and age be treated so horrific and straight out backwards just cause she was raped? I have to remind them that what I went through while serving my country is nothing unique. It is happening to as many as one in three women in the military as well as many men. In the year 2011 right here in the United States of America rape survivors are still not being believed, being blamed for, losing their careers and at times murdered for reporting a sexual assault.

I know the pain of betrayal far exceed the physical pain of the assault itself. I know how it feels like to be treated like a criminal just for being a victim. I know how it feels like to lose your career while watching your perpetrator go unpunished. I know how it feels like to walk on base and hear “whore” or “liar” be thrown your way. I know that what I went through in 2006 has been going on for decades and it is still goes on today. I know that I do not want any more of my comrades, my vet-sisters, my shipmates to go through what I went through which is why I am sharing my story.

I am  inviting you all to do so as well. If you are a survivor, a family member, or a service member that witnessed abuse please share your story. Together, with the public knowledge of what is really happening in our military we can put an end to the truculent treatment of Military Sexual Trauma survivors.

To share your story visit: Be Heard

Panayiota

Coast Guard Station Burlington VT and Coast Guard Boston

6 comments

  1. I think what Panayiota is doing is a wonderful thing. I have worked in the mental health industry for years and one of the best way to process trauma is through writing. This is by far one of the best ideas that I had ever seen. God bless you and thank you for what you do.

  2. YNC Kori Heath did not act with integrity and trustworthiness. I have served with her as well as with PB and YNC Heath has a lot to learn from PB such as leadership and integrity. Another woman said in another forum that she has emails from Heath clearly stating to stay away from PB for reasons of no other than to isolate the two. Both were female, E-3s and therefore not breaking any rules by being friends however both were being mistreated by the same people in the Coast Guard and Kori Heath purposely told the two not to talk as there way of isolating them and not talk about the abuse that they are encountering. There was also a third woman that was transferred from Maine to Boston who reported a sexual assault who was also told to stay away from the two. Unfortunately the third has passed away. Three women with very similar cases all being dealt with in the same abusive way. Not sure if MS knows about this blog but if someone can tell her she can come on here and post what she experienced from Kori Heath. Patricia Tutalo, the woman I spoken about in my blog entry and Kori Heath were inseparable and joint to the hip so that should say a lot about the character of both women. Kori Heath also came under fire for some unethical behavior by accepting bribes and other favors from Coast Guardsmen to get out of Honor Guard duty or have favorable Honor Guard duty. Those in her circle as well as herself did all the favorable Honor Guard event such as at Fenway Park and if you were on her shit list she’ll give you a funeral five Saturdays in a row. She was caught and it’ll forever follow her Coast Guard career. Kori Heath is a sociopath that is probably more concern with her name being posted on here than the crimes that are being exposed. If the Coast Guard won’t do anything at least the public needs to know where their tax dollars are going. The Coast Guard has no place for Kori Heath.

  3. Hey John. It is true what he said. I do have the emails from Kori Heath telling me to stay away frm PB since we were both being abused by the same people (Kori Heath, Patricia Tutalo, James Freeman, Scott Keene) and by isolating us it we would think that it was us that did something wrong and not them at fault. Now I know that I was not the only one who was at fault.

    Is the other woman that you talking about CK? I personally did not speak to her but I know PB did until she was told not to but they still spoke. They went to basic together and there were a rape support group on base led by PB and at it CK attended and some LTJG who was raped at the Academy and not sure who else. They used to meet like twice a week right there in PB’s room.
    It was just crazy what was happening on that base that the command did not know. I think we all knew what was happening with her starting the military rape crisis center and having support groups on base but the command had no idea.

    I personally was never raped or assaulted so I did not have it that bad. I was injured and needed surgery so they sent me to Boston. They ended up kicking me out instead.

  4. Panayiota,
    I can’t even begin to express how much I admire you for what you are doing here! This is amazing and takes great courage! I personally find it hard to speak (literally have a hard time forming the words and getting them out of my mouth) about what has happened to me. It is like I seize up. So, for you guiding the way for others (even men) to speak up is really inspiring! You are a blessing for taking your pain and using it to help others!

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