Coast Guard forces rape survivor in psych unit with Sex Offender, Shawn Wren refused to respond to e-mails from survivors

For everything that happened to me one thing that stood out was being pushed into a GV by Lt Tutalo, my victim advocate, being forced to seek inpatient mental health treatment because of what they said “for crying” no, really? I was just raped was I suppose to be laughing and joking around?  I was crying and shaking the entire time I was being escorted to the hospital which was over an hour away by two men that were joking and laughing the entire time.

My command relayed to the hospital that I had suicidal ideation. When I denied that I ever said that I was suicidal they wrote me down as being in denial.

I was at the hospital for four or five days, in a mostly male unit. We had one small room at the other end of the hallway that were for the women. Before the room it had a sign “women only beyond this point”   I was, as far as I know, the only one there who was there for being RAPED. Others were there for serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, some were SEX OFFENDERS. Seriously, if someone is a registered sex offender do you freaking think that they care about the 8X11″sign that said “women only beyond this point?”

It was literally like prison, not like I know what prison is like but this is how I imagined it.  We had to “earn” our free time. We had to “earn” our chance to go outside. When we were outside we were only allowed to be in this small, gated area in which there were guards surrounding it so we won’t escape. Eventually the doctors felt that I was not a harm to myself or others–wow, maybe I really did NOT have suicidal ideation. At least I got to leave. YN3 Romni Edwards picked me up from the hospital and asked after looking around “what did you do to get yourself in here” I responded “I was raped”. That kept her quiet for the rest of the trip back to the base.

The first day back I was called back in to speak to the Special Agent. He said that he interviewed my rapist and that he was a “nice gentleman” and that his story does not add up to mine. So, my rapist probably said “It was not rape,  she wanted to have sex that is why I fucking punched her in the face, broke her tooth and bruised her all up” is that how you treat the women that are wanting to have sex willingly? Yep, nice gentleman. Special Agent Dan Bradford, you are an idiot.

Lt Tutalo said that she learned better for next time. She said that it was all a “learning opportunity” same excuse on why she took months to find me an outpatient counselor to process the rape   I was just raped. You can’t say “hmm..what would happen if we put a rape survivor in a hospital with sex offenders”  A RAPE SURVIVOR IS NOT A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT.

I survived it though.

This is what the Coast Guard spent thousands (if not more) to develop ways to better improve their sexual assault response.  When I contacted the Coast Guard about this they came back in saying that they only do what best for sexual assault or rape survivors. Involuntarily forcing a rape survivor in a mostly male psych unit with sex offenders can not be the best thing for a rape survivor.

Coast Guard.  I know that you are reading this, even you Sexual Assault Program Coordinator Shawn Wren (can’t you respond to your emails from rape survivors?) why are you not taking rape or sexual assault seriously?

How many more survivors and how many more stories are needed to be told before you take accountability for what you have done?

5 comments

  1. Please write the Commandant, President, etc…. and tell them of your experience I did, 178 letters and if they piss me off I’ll write more. I have put my old CO on report to the FBI, Homeland Security and the president for with holding my personel record, for 20 at his home in TX. Official government records removed from my record and kept at his house. Weird, I was sexually assualted in the CG long ago, long before CGIS, Shawn Wren…she needs to lose her job and they need to hire someone with a clue, but the Commandant doesn’t care he has covered his ass, the hell with the rest of us, we are crazy, poor performers, whores, sluts the list goes on and on. I was assualted when I was 26 I am now 53, still fighting the VA and Coast Guard. I served 27 years and don’t regret a day. Well maybe one. Fight write those letters, raise hell.
    God Bless and good luck.

  2. You are very right. When I was assaulted by two chaplains, I knew if I said anything I would have to pay the price. Serving under my boss while he was being investigated, was very difficult. Experienced sexual harrassment from my comrades, or were they ever my comrades. I knew from this experience, that if I turned two chaplains in there would be no end in sight. I am sorry for what you have been through. Check out the sight called sawn. Service action women network. They are fighting for our rights, as women past and present who serviced our country.

    Terri

  3. As a victim of more than one military sexual assault, i would have to agree with this post. I was USN and it started while I was in boot camp and again in corp school. I too ended up in the active duty psych ward with a “psychiatrist” that was less than appropriate with his “therapy.” It took years to get the help I desperately needed and thank heavens for the VA in Eugene, OR. They have a wonderful military sexual trauma program that has changed my life. I only wish I had realized what was wrong with me earlier in my life. Three marriages later, I am now happy and in love with another vet who brings me joy nearly every day. I have a wonderful support group that surrounds me with love and caring. I am so sorry for the bad experiences other assaulted vets are going through. Do not give up. The help is out there…just sometimes it is hard to find. Good luck with your recovery.

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