A mother’s concern about daughter at the Coast Guard Academy

The story about the cadet assaulted on CGC Eagle hit home.  My daughter was on the CGC Eagle during the summer of 2009. When she could she’ll call home in tears. She said that a fellow cadet was staring at her during the entire tour. My advice to her was to talk to him first and if that does not work to report it to her superiors. She said that may work well in the real world but it was impossible to report anything in the Coast Guard unless she wants to be sent home. There was a clear code of silence.

I  noticed a lot of changes in her since her time on the Eagle. The happy, bubbly, ambitious girl that I used to know is now gone. When we do talk she seems always to be depressed and hopeless. All her life she wanted nothing more than to be in the military like many in our family did before her. The excitement that she once had for the Coast Guard has been replaced by a dark cloud and depression.

I raised a very strong and independent young woman and I find it very odd that she would be upset and uncomfortable being stared at. This leads me to believe that there was more going on that she did not want to tell me. I sent her a link to the Military Rape Crisis Center webpage.

Thank you for your dedication to help our nation’s best. God Bless our troops! God Bless America!

6 comments

  1. You did the right thing by not prying and giving her resources. It may have been staring that triggered this response. Being constantly stared at is scary wondering if it would escalate to something more. It could also been more than staring that caused her to be upset.

    The code of silence at the Academy is what is ruining it. They need to get rid of the current SARC. Even the Executive Director of the Military Rape Crisis Center called him and according to her he was even talking down to her! Peter DiMarzio needs to show some respect to people like Executive Directors of organizations. if he can’t even show respect to his peers/superiors then he won’t be able to show respect to a cadet that reported a sex crime. Perhaps he is angry that more people are going to her than to him to report rape and assault at the Academy?

    sorry for the rant.

  2. Don’t underestimate the trauma of stares. I think most women can relate to being looked at in a creepy matter. Just the other day I was getting creepy stares while walking down the street. It lasted a total of 30 seconds and totally grossed me out. I can’t even imagine if that happened to me everyday, all day and I was stuck on a ship. Women are not an art exhibit or a piece of meat that you can just stare and oggle. It is a major violation of our rights. A woman should be able to serve on CGC Eagle or elsewhere without feeling uncomfortable because of her gender.

  3. This behavior is so disturbing…our best and brightest are being harassed and abused within the military academies. Why doesn’t this news get out like the Secret Service misconduct and something get done? Our tax dollars are running the academies, there are so many quality people who want to serve…why is this allowed to go on? where are the checks and balances, honor and respect are supposed to be the moral, ethical compass of the CGA?

  4. The fear of disenrollment is very, very real when reporting a sexual assault or rape. There are plenty of rapes at the Coast Guard Academy and most survivors are afraid to come forward because of just that.

    The support at CGA is only for show but once you try to access the “help” you’ll see that it is not really there. Accessing any assistance is close to impossible. If you do get some assistance you are spoken down on by Peter DiMarzio, the SARC. He is so bad that even the Executive Director of the Military Rape Crisis Center, the fucking executive director of the largest NGO working to provide direct services to victims of rape in the military was spoken down by Peter DiMarzio when she pointed out some language that he was using during a telephone call that was degrading to survivors of rape.

    If he going to talk to to someone of her position and power then of course he is going to talk down to the cadet who is in his office crying because she just been raped.

    There are also cadet to cadet support groups for sexual assault and rape survivors, two groups held monthly including one just for male survivors and those are always packed. the male survivor group that was actually held for the first time this past weekend was packed and more wanted to sign up but they limit it to a certain amount of people.

    This shows to me that CG Cadets are hurting and need help but the CG is not offering them the help that they need. Posters don’t exactly work.

  5. I was on the Eagle with someone from Tunisia. Several females complained about how he was looking at us. We were told that we were being overly sensitive and just looking for an excuse to complain.

  6. I used to live in Egypt. The street harassment there is unbearable. No matter how conservative that you dress and regardless if you cover your hair or not you are going to be subject to street harassment. Being a blonde American made me stand out even more. Lucky for me I was never physically assaulted but even sitting at the bus station or walking alone to the grocery store you get the constant stare from me it sure makes you feel uncomfortable. It got to the point that I stayed in my apartment for days unless I had to leave for work. Countless nights I went to bed with hunger pains because I was afraid of being harassed leaving my apartment because of the stares.

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