Sexual harassment, racism and rape at the Coast Guard Academy

When one chooses to attend a service academy you expect to be sexually harassed or discriminated against for having a vagina or the color of your skin or the shapes of your eyes.  The extent of harassment I experienced couldn’t have ever been imagined. I have been sexually harassed almost daily since 2008. When reported they don’t follow up with you. The harassment continues.

I was raped once last spring. All that knew told me that I was lying and that I’ll regret reporting. I tried to report it and could not. Not one person followed through or investigated. A group of cadets call me a liar every single day.  I diagnose myself with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety.  I smile on the surface and I cry on the inside.

A while back we filled out a survey. It asked if we ever experienced unwanted sexual attention.  They say that it is anonymous but they often call people in who fill questionable answers in what should be an anonymous questionnaire. They code the surveys and know who is answering what. Except for the brave or ignorant few you respond the way that they want you to respond. Put on a smile, write down everything is perfect and count down the days when you are gone either by graduation or suicide.

I know about the support groups but do not attend. I know of a few that do but it is all hush hush and let never talk about it. I do not trust anybody even if they all suffering the same way that I am. CASA is too cliquey. The SARC is a male. A man is the last person that I’ll talk to for obvious reasons.  It is best to suffer alone.

We have the worst professors in the country: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-37243771/25-colleges-with-the-worst-professors/?tag=mwuser

We have to write student blogs.  We have to pretend everything is perfect. We are suppose to say we are equal. We are having fun. We are suppose to tell all who ask that the Coast Guard Academy is a wonderful opportunity and we feel so fortunate to be here. In reality we are all suffering. We have the most depressed students: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/28/the-10-colleges-with-the-_n_1116156.html#s500051&title=United_States_Coast

My self esteem is at an all time low. Thoughts of suicide is the only thing that brings a smile to my face.

If you are a white bible thumper male you’ll fit right in.  The Coast Guard Academy has a problem with rapists and racists.  Let me not even start talking about race. They try to fill quotas without any motivation to change the sexist and racist culture. I am here because of a quota. I am here because of my gender and my race. I am not here because I earned it. They know that. They make sure that you know that.

I know a fellow cadet that admitted to being a KKK member. I doubt that he is an active KKK member with the work load that we have but walking around pretending to be proud skinhead is all the same to me.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to get this off my shoulders.

12 comments

  1. I am sorry that you have to go through this. I had to deal with racism and islamophobia when I was in the Marines. The Marines though is by far more diverse than the Coast Guard and if we had problems in the Marines I can’t even imagine how much worst it is in the Coast Guard. The USCG is known for being the white, middle class branch of service.

  2. Two questions:

    Your rapist is not by any chance “a star football player”? http://mydutytospeak.com/2011/07/04/rape-at-the-coast-guard-academy/

    and

    did they ever find the person responsible for leaving hangman’s nooses around campus? http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-09-25-3502620855_x.htm

    racism. sexual assault and rape have been going on at the Academy since day 1. The Coast Guard think that ‘tolerance training’ just like ‘sexual assault prevention training’ is going to work. If a kid grew up 18 years of his life living among racism day in and day out he or she is not going to change because of 1 or a dozen training sessions telling him otherwise.

    The Coast Guard has to stop recruiting cadets who are prone to be racist, sexist or misogynistic. They should focus more on personality assessment than rather or not you were captain of the chess club. These are our future Coast Guard leaders. They should not be raping, assault, harassing or going around pretending to be a member of the KKK.

    SHAME ON YOU COAST GUARD.

    1. So Kelli, are you saying the CG shouldn’t conduct training at all? Also, how do you define someone who is “prone to be racist”? What’s your recommendation to “fix” the problem of sexual assault in the military??

      1. The Coast Guard has to stop with the lame, victim blaming (and yes saying it not the survivor fault but constantly calling a survivor a ‘victim’ and discharging 92% of survivors from service IS victim blaming) and the “we have zero tolerance” lie yet you do not see the USCG all over this website wanting to know how to best help survivors is not going to end sexual violence in the Coast Guard.

        Canada, Australia, and the military of other western countries got their shit together so why can’t the US Coast Guard? I am not saying that rapes do not happen in foreign military but when they do they are prosecuted and the survivor is protected and absolutely never is the survivor’s career threatened because they were raped! The Coast Guard is the worst from the 5 US military branches. Just read the stories on here. The majority are from the Coast Guard the smallest branch of service!

        The personality traits of a rapist have been researched and are well known. There are personality tests out there that the Coast Guard can give at MEPS for enlisted and prior to attending CGA or OCS for officers to weed out those that have the personality traits for being rapists. If they can weed out those that are prone to depression or have a flat foot they can weed out those prone to being a rapist or likely to commit a hate crime.

      2. Km- You are a joke. I cannot believe you inferred that Kelli was trying to say anything of the sort. You are so defensive I have to wonder at your own motivations? You must be joking. How dare you attack someone who has been traumatized by someone by asking them such a ridiculous and unwarranted question. She clearly wasn’t calling for that, she wants justice for herself and others who have suffered at the hands of ignorance! I hate to be the one to tell you, interpret this as Love, but they absolutely can and should do psychological testing on candidates to weed out those who are more likely to commit offences against others. If you don’t agree with that then you are clearly part of the problem! There are standard tests that are used daily now and with great success to weed out such people. Our military is just turning a blind eye to exactly what is happening. They are losing out on a ton of wonderful people by recruiting people who wouldn’t normally pass such tests and then punishing the surviors instead of eliminating the problem, which is the offender! If you leave the offender in place you are both agreeing with what they did and also encouraging it! Anyone who knowingly does this is just as guilty of the next rape that an offender commits as the offender themselves and they too should be punished! I can’t believe that this is even in question to our military! Really? What about rape, or racism is ok to you? I don’t understand the ignorant mentality that seems to pervade our military! We give them our children who are then expected to protect our country and they allow idiots to rape and torture them right here at home and then to add insult to injury they then blame the victim. What the heck is going on there? Who would ever think this is ok? Psychological tests have been employed in any number of ways and can easily weed out the majority of those who would be more likely to offend. At the least by employing something like this would identify potential offenders and allow for the higher ups to be able to earmark and monitor those who are identified as potentially dangerous. Doing nothing, ignoring the issues, and kicking out a survivor is a ridiculous waste of our young people

  3. To the author of this post,
    I am the military reporter at The Day newspaper in New London CT and I cover the Coast Guard Academy. I apologize for prying but I wanted to contact you in case you want to speak about what happened? As a victim we would not need to use your name. Please feel free to contact me directly at 860-701-4216/ j.mcdermott@theday.com. Jennifer McDermott

  4. “The SARC is a male. A man is the last person that I’ll talk to for obvious reasons. It is best to suffer alone.”

    I’m curious why a man is the last person you would talk to, and what the “obvious reasons” are? Your situation is truly unfortunate and as a father myself, I would never hope for my daughter or any woman to get treated like you are being, but your lack of faith in men, especially those that are trained to help isn’t helping you at all. Not all men are rapists, and in fact, most men are not, as is likely the case with the CGA SARC. It is not best to suffer alone, it is best to tell your SARC, male or not, about the situation and hopefully bring the perpetrators to justice. Good luck, I hope you do the right thing and get help.

    1. I am not the author of this post so I can not tell you her reasons however as a survivor myself (not Coast Guard) I can tell you that I can not openly talk about my rape to another male not even those who I consider close to me like my Dad or my best male friend. I used to volunteer at a rape crisis center before volunteering with MRCC and I know that they had rules against men volunteering as hotline counselors. I have had only female counselors since my rape. I do know of some survivors that see men counselors but only after lots of trust. I also know that many police departments crime victim units only allow women to be the ones speaking to a sexual assault survivors. All the Coast Guard rape survivors that I know of had to report their rape to a Special Agent that is male.I sure hope that they change that for both men and women survivors. My good guy friend was raped and he the same way as well since his perpetrator was a man.

    2. My daughter was raped and now doesn’t trust any men at all. It’s sad- She doesn’t even feel “safe” with her own loving and adoring father whom has never done anything to make her feel that way. She has a hard time even having normal relationships with men now. It is sad but true. Its not that she expects all men to do something to her but trusting men after having had her trust thrown in her face by the perpetrator just isn’t something that she can do right now. She has had years of therapy and still has trouble. Sadly there isn’t a thing to do for it except to continue to give her reasons to trust and proving to her that her trust isn’t unwarranted. Eventually she will heal but I doubt she will ever gain back fully what was lost. She only can confide in women and would never be able to open up to nor share what happened with a male therapist. She just can’t get over that part of things. It breaks my heart.

  5. Pretty insane how the Coast Guard is the smallest military service, yet it seems to have the most posts on here. I don’t know what to tell you. I know from experience that it can be very hard to bring yourself to report things in the CG. Fuck it, you need to fight this, what are they going to do kick you out? It might be a blessing in disguise.The kindof SHIT that makes it through the academy and CG basic training sickens me. In my time in the CG I can probably say about 90% of the coasties I knew were jackasses, cocky morons, or straight up abusive pricks. That being said, the 10% were outstanding people. I joined the Coast Guard to help people, I don’t know why some of these people joined. The Coast Guard needs to seriously be re-evaluated..thank God I got out.

  6. Peter Di Marzio was FIRED as the SARC at the Coast Guard Academy. Not sure who the new SARC is. Perhaps time to make some contact?

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