The rape investigation the Coast Guard claims never happened.

PO3, United States Coast Guard

I reported a rape on a Coast Guard cutter in 2009. I was a lower ranking enlisted member and the perpetrator was an E-7. After reporting it a YN sat down with me to hear my side of the story. After I told him he spoken to the E-7 and then came back to me and said that the E-7 denied raping me and because I did not have any physical injuries he can not go further with my allegations. I was not treated for rape, a rape kit was never offered to me even though I reported it within hours of the rape and did not shower and followed all procedures like you are suppose to.  CGIS were never contacted which I later found out that they were required to do so. I requested my investigation files and they said that they do not have them. It was like my rape never happened. The YN should not have been investigating it in the first place and he didn’t tell anyone that he was. All I have is a statement from a shipmate that remembered that I reported a rape. That is all. They kicked me out because I have a personality disorder and with an RE-4 discharge I can not even re-enlist even after I found out that the personality disorder was a misdiagnoses.basically my entire life has been destroyed because of how the Coast Guard dealt with my rape. Maybe if I was able to have a rape kit or if CGIS were involved the outcome would have been different but who is holding these people accountable when they are not even doing their job for reporting it to the appropriate people? They do not teach you what to do when you are raped. All the training is about how not to get raped but how about if you are raped and your command does not listen. What do you do then? What was I suppose to do? The about section of this website states that there were 3230 reported rapes in the military last year however how about my case, does that count part of the 3230 or were it just covered up and not included? Cause if Coast Guard headquarters nor CGIS knew about it why will it be included in that number. How many more rapes that are actually reported that are not included in those numbers. The Coast Guard has to read this article by Panayiota and take her advice….http://militaryrapecrisiscenter.org/2010/04/27/problems-with-getting-help/ She the only one in the entire Coast Guard that believed me and knows what she is talking about.  Why isn’t she running the sexual assault program? Instead we have someone that thinks that everything is perfect and victims are respected. We are not. The Coast Guard is losing way too many women because they are clueless on how to deal with rapes. The Coast Guard DOES NOT CARE. Instead of saying that they screwed up and want to improve they constantly think that they take allegations seriously. No, they do not. Just like an alcoholic first step is to admit that they have a problem then they can get help, the Coast Guard’s first step in improving their sexual assault policy is to admit that what they are doing now is not working. Then they can work towards improving but they have not done that yet. Where is Shawn Wren? she never returned my phone calls. Where was work-life? they never returned my phone calls. Where are all these people who are suppose to be help. Why are they not returning phone calls from rape survivors? Not even the Chaplin returned my numerous phone calls. My mother called the Commandant and was concerned on why in over a year I was still on the same ship as my rapist and they never even returned her phone calls. My mother went into a recruiting office cause that is the only Coast Guard-related office near her home demanding to know what is going on and they kicked her out threatening her with arrest while saying that rape is a serious crime and that the Coast Guard always deals with it seriously. They looked at her like she lost her mind when she said that for over a year her daughter is still on the same ship as her rapist. They actually tried to say that she was lying! Why couldn’t they help her? Imagine if it was your daughter.

Who is holding the commands accountable who are ignoring the allegations? Who is making sure that rape survivors who been forced out of service are able to re-enlist despite if they were un-rightfully given an RE-4 or had to be in counseling to process the rape?

When we report rape they say that we are lying and were never raped. When we report that our investigations were not dealt with properly they deny that we even reported raped. It is a constant head game and they are wrong. So wrong. I never met anyone more evil than a person in the Coast Guard that say that all allegations are taking seriously. If my allegations were taken seriously why wasn’t CGIS informed? Why wasn’t I able to get medical treatment or even just a rape kit? No one even told me that I had the option of restricted or unrestricted reporting until months later when I found out from MRCC’s website. if you too been raped in the military please speak out. if you are thinking about reporting a rape do it but make sure that you carry a tape recorder with you at ALL TIMES cause they are going to come back and deny EVERYTHING. Heck they probably would deny the conversations in the recordings but at least if you have something to show the VA or the public it can make them believe you easier. I wish that I did that and envy those that I heard that did. The Coast Guard is going to say that you are lazy and crazy and not fit for military duty but it is all lies and you can not fall for it. You are going to be called a whore, a ho and a slut. They are going to assume that if you been raped you been drinking even if you were not. They are going to call you stupid. Your career is going to come to an end. You’ll end up with a bunch of bogus page 7′s. I received a page 7 for wearing a t-shirt  with yellow writing instead of white. Well the yellow writing was the ones that we all wore that we ordered with our unit’s name on it. I was wearing the shirt that I ordered from them and they wrote me up for wearing it.  I was not the only one that wore it. Some wore non-Coast Guard issue shirts from American Apparel or whatever and some were not even the same shade of blue but nobody cared about them. You need to do something for yourself each day to know that you are worthy and not the shitty Coast Guardsman that they are going to make you out to be. Get help and counseling from someone other than the Coast Guard. Don’t tell the Coast Guard that you are getting help. I wish that I knew that cause I received all of my help through the Coast Guard and am just so tired of them not believing me. They also lost my medical records, did I say that already? Yes they lost my medical records. The VA social worker called all over looking for my records and they said that they don’t have it. I recently found out that if you been raped state side or even if you are deployed you may be able to get free services through the state. I live in the same state that my ship was home ported at and the state’s victim compensation fund is paying for my therapy. Look into that and stay away from any military-related, tri-care related therapy. Just imagine how a rape victim is treated in Saudi Arabia or in the 1940s and that is how you are going to be treated in the Coast Guard.  I am not the best writer. Writing this has been very difficult but I know it needs to be said with tears falling down my eyes with each letter that I type.  that is all I have to say.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Editor’s Note: The 3230 reported rapes that we have posted on About My Duty to Speak are the number of reported rapes from the Department of Defense four military branches; Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The United States Coast Guard which is under the Department of Homeland Security is not included in those statistics.

11 comments

  1. I’m sorry that this happened to you. I was raped too in the National Guard and they too ignore phone calls from rape survivors. I have been calling the SARC for weeks and she never picked up then I blocked my number and she picked up. When I said it was me she was like “I can’t hear you, hello, hello…click” How professional!

  2. I believe you and other people reading this believe you. You owe yourself every opportunity that was taken from you by this assault. Fight for your benefits. I hope that you go to school and emerge as a woman that had the strength to report a rape and endure the abuse that you faced. You were stronger than most people then and you are stronger than most people now.
    I got out of the Navy feeling broken and beaten. I married a guy without the capacity to understand the situation; let alone be sensitive to it. This is a good guy nonetheless.
    I got a kick ass education and I am raising strong and self aware daughters and a wonderful son. This is not about me but I want for you what I want for myself.
    I hope that you find a place so far beyond that they did to you.
    I want you to have success and happiness. If you take yourself to the next level, if you become everything that you want to become, if you reemerge with that feeling of wholeness and and self actualization that they tried to rob you of, THEY LOSE AND YOU WIN!
    Win! Do it for yourself and do it for all of us.
    Win this!

  3. “They do not teach you what to do when you are raped. All the training is about how not to get raped but how about if you are raped and your command does not listen. What do you do then?”

    Sooo true! I am sorry for what they have put you through and commend you for the bravery and courage to step out and tell your story. If enough of us can stand up to this, eventually, it HAS to change!

  4. I am so sorry you went through that. I was drugged and raped. I dont know know who did it. I reported the rape, and got a rape kit. I told the Navy and NCIS investigated. They found DNA, and closed the investigation because after only testing 4 people, they didnt find a match. The Navy is admin seperating me now because they think i made it up. I was told tuesday that they were going to NJP me. I refused and requested court martial. They decided not to allow me court martial, so now they are trying to process me out….for what? I do not know. I did everything right. I did a rape kit. They found DNA. Still in the past year my evals have gone down. They revoked my clearance. They wrote me up for bs stuff. DRBed me. Before the rape, I was in 6 years….not even a counseling. I was putting in an officer package. Now it makes me sick to think I am apart of the Navy “family”. Stay strong! Do not let them win! Keep fighting! I know i will not stop. I have only begun!

  5. I believe you! I know that this was hard to say! they are a bunch of losers! it makes me sick to my stomach! you did not deserve this! you are in my prayers!!!!

  6. PO3 I am so sorry to hear what happened to you and how the Coast Guard dealt to it. *hugs*
    It is common for them to lose rape investigations, mine was misplaced as well. In your case it sounds like it was never investigated. A Yeoman is not qualified to conduct a rape investigation but it is common in the military to have the rape allegations dealt with by the command instead of the proper law enforcement agents. This is particular worse in the Coast Guard than any other military branch.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    Stacey

  7. I believe you that it happened. I am very sorry that the Coast Guard put you through all of this. They are the ones who are suppose to protect and defend this country as well as their own. Panayiota is a wonderful resource. Your life is not over cause of this. Don’t ever say that. You survived something that nobody should ever have to live through. Be around other MST survivors that are doing good and are a positive influence; Stacey, Melissa, Jen, Ashley, Rachel and Panayiota. I am sure that there are more my brain doesn’t work much anymore. Continue staying strong and don’t allow the Coast Guard to take anything else away from you.
    Kelli

  8. Courage: Courage Isn’t just being brave, Courage is being scared to death but still getting up and doing it anyway! Spending a year + waking up each morning and going to work to be with and see your perpetrator takes courage. For that I admire you greatly.

    I know we already spoken about this but I’ll repeat it so everyone else can know. The Coast Guard is thinking of re-opening your case (and all Coast Guard cases posted on here) pending “there are any new evidence”. In this particular case the survivor was forbidden to have a rape/safe kit performed on her. However when all evidence is lost by the fault of the Coast Guard a case can not be reopened for the survivor to ever have the opportunity to receive justice. In a rape the crime scene is the victim’s body and a rape/safe kit is done to collect forensic evidence so by forbidden a rape/safe kit is equivalent to a police officer refusing to process a crime scene for finger prints or other physical evidence. In this particular case the survivor reported it right away with the intention of having a rape kit done however those which whom were put in charge of helping her get the resources that she needed failed her by forbidding her to have evidence collected. I have worked with thousands of Military Sexual Trauma survivors and a disproportion amount of Coast Guard survivors report not having their rape be reported to the proper authority and instead investigated by Yeomans, Boatswain Mates and others not qualified to investigate rape. In one case the was even a cook who made himself the investigator for the rape. This is because of the unique structure of the Coast Guard with most units being too small for a full support command and the nearest support is often hundreds of miles away.

    Reports on the numbers of reported rape cases in the Coast Guard varies. In 2008 CGIS reported that they investigated 78 alleged sexual assaults while Headquarters report that there were 30 reported cases of alleged sexual assault. These numbers does not include investigations conducted illegally by members of one’s command. The discrepancies between what is considered “official reporting” shows how the Coast Guard’s Sexual Assault Response and Prevention program disorganized and failing survivors of rape and the entire Coast Guard.

    I believe 100% of what you have said. I am sorry to hear what our shipmates had put you through. Thank you for sharing your story. Thanks for the kind words. I am proud to call you my shipmate.

    Panayiota

    http://www.stopmilitaryrape.org

  9. I believe you because my daughter was raped as well and they never took her allegations seriously. You are very strong for sharing your story. I am sorry for what you went through.

    Briana

  10. My mother called the Commandant as well and they laughed at her. I called Shawn Wren and she never returned my phone calls. If she can not help someone who is active then what is the point of having her? My rapist left the coast guard 3 months after the rape, just last month and because of that i was told that because he is no longer in that they can not get to him. he is a civilian and they have no authority now. they never should have let him go because the investigation was still active but cause his contract was up they let him leave. they even told me that they have no idea where he is. now i am being med boarded out for adjustment disorder.

  11. I was AD Coast Guard for 5 years and 2 months. In the first 2 months of me being at my first unit, I made the bad decision to drink for the first time. While passed out on my buddy’s couch, his roommate tried to take advantage of me. Stuck his hand down my pants and I spent the whole night fighting him off me and didn’t have enough energy from throwin up to scream. Because I was underage and it was less than 6 months since I had joined, I couldn’t report it b/c I would have been kicked out for drinking. That has haunted me for 9 years…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s