Coast Guard member raped, forced to write statement that is being used against other rape survivors.

I reported a rape in the United States Coast Guard. Within 30 minutes of the rape I reported it and was treated immediately at a civilian hospital since my unit was not large enough to have any HS or medics. A rape kit was performed and I left the emergency room after 5 or 6 hours. My duty for the remaining of the weekend was suspended so I could recoup. At that time I felt that the Coast Guard really cared. I was dead wrong.

Since I chose unrestricted reporting I was sent to speak to CGI and they investigated the rape by interviewing me, him and all who were on duty that evening. At first they seemed to care a lot about what happened and told me that they would get this bastard for what he did to me. My shipmates at my small boat station was split. Some sided with him but others who were aware of the previous hostile environment that he showed me sided with me. I caused a war at my duty station.

Due to some backlash from survivors of rape speaking out I was ordered by the SARC to write a statement saying I was treated fairly and have been supported. I wrote such a statement which they are now using without my permission. The SARC is using my statement against Coast Guard rape survivors who are saying that the treatment of rape survivors is subpar. It was never meant to be used in that way. It was only written because at the time I felt that the Coast Guard treated me with respect. That all changed.

After several months CGI dropped the case for reasons of lack of evidence. That was the turning point from when I was treated with respect to when I was treated like a shitbag.  Senior Chief allowed the entire crew to call me names. People that I thought were my friends eventually all turned their back on me. I was kicked several times. My personal belongings were vandalize. I had the word SLUT written across a mirror in my barracks with lipstick. Phone calls were made to my mom telling her that she raised a slut. I became suicidal.

This happened in 2011 and 2012. My story is recent. We need to stop this.

10 comments

  1. I heard about that statement a while back when it was forwarded to me by a survivor that was triggered by it. Glad that we were able to find you to tell you how it is being used.

    What happened to you was not your fault. The Coast Guard set you up. They wanted it all in writing so that they can turn and say “well, look at this statement you said we took your rape seriously!.” Well obviously that is a lie.

    I am sorry that they violated your rights. In my eyes you been raped by a sociopath rapist and a sociopath SARC.

    Thanks for sharing your story shipmate.

  2. Shipmate,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am deeply sorry to hear what happened to you. Your story, my story, everyone’ story should be an eye opener to the Coast Guard. Sadly though they are using more energy in trying to discredit rape survivors instead of improving the sexual assault and response program.

    I really wanted your message across. I know that it was difficult to write. I am very proud of you for submitting your statement in the way that you wanted it to be told.

    You know how to reach me.

    Panayiota

  3. Instead of working to actively improve their sexual assault program including removing from service repeat offenders such as Kori Heath and Patti Tutalo the Coast Guard continues to not only further victimize this woman whose privacy was violated by a SARC that showing off the rape survivor’s personal statement but also further victimizing every rape survivor that have to read the lie of “how great the Coast Guard response to sexual assault” which is the Coast Guard’s way of telling a rape survivor “shut up. you have no right to complain. we are awesome” all while the Coast Guard refusing to improve their sexual assault program.

    The Coast Guard does not get it. They are only getting themselves deeper into the hole.

  4. From a trauma focus perspective there are three things that the Coast Guard does that is absolutely unacceptable.

    1. Kicking out rape survivors.

    2. Violating the privacy of rape survivors from what might seem small things such as CC’ing others on emails that you are sending to a survivor about his or her rape to showing off a personal statement to others without the survivor’s approval.

    3. Blaming the injustice on the survivor and not the broken system. A survivor that has to read your statement on how everything is perfect is probably traumatized for life. As a mental health profession bullshit like that is what my clients are more traumatized from than the crime itself. The one and only way to handle a survivor that felt injustice was done to them is to evaluate the complaint, validate the complaint and fix the complaint.

    Calling a rape survivor a slut or a liar is bad but nothing beats the three actions listed above.

    For the most part these are only Coast Guard problems. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force does have problems with sexual assault but we never hear them coming out saying that they are taking sexual assault seriously just for the sole purpose of further abusing the survivor.

    1. What about it surprises you? They been doing it all alone. I have worked with plenty of rape survivors. Several survivors that I worked with chose to do a Congressional Inquiry. With the help of the Congress they wrote letters to the Coast Guard outlining their abuse and naming abusers. In every single one of those letters the Coast Guard responded in saying that they take rape allegations seriously. That they would investigate. However, the survivors are never called to be interviewed in any investigation against an abuser. Nothing ever happens to the abuser.

      This is the same exact thing. Instead of validating survivors and helping them get justice the Coast Guard just further abuse them by saying that nothing is wrong with the system.

      Perhaps if we continue talking one day the Coast Guard can see what they are doing is wrong and actually work towards a valid plan to eliminate sexual violence in its ranks. The first step is admitting that there is a problem. Then do something about it instead of wasting time pushing down survivors do something to help improve SAPRO.

  5. This is tragic. Does anyone know if there are other survivors who have had their words used against them in this way?

    1. Yes. We know of many survivors who been violated in this way. Sadly, most are from the Coast Guard and a couple from the Army. However we are sure that this is happening service wide.

  6. Did this happen to you in a Muslim country? Thats what it sounds like with the treatment you received. Maybe if it happened in a democratic country like the USA that wouldn’t have been the outcome. Oh wait…….

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