Wall of Shame: United States Coast Guard Shawn M. Wren

Shawn Wren was hired by the United States Coast Guard to assist all sexual assault and rape survivors and also to develop training programs to prevent sexual assaults in the Coast Guard. Unfortunately, many survivors feel that she failed in her position.

Rape survivors came forward that phone calls to Shawn Wren has not been answered during time of crisis. Several service providers, including staff from the Military Rape Crisis Center reported that multiple attempts to work with Shawn Wren to improve the sexual assault response program has been denied. Shawn Wren chose to not work with service providers that are on the field helping Coast Guard rape survivors 24/7.

Shawn Wren ignored multiple requests from the taxpayers. Over 580 people signed an online petition requesting an immediate investigation against a Chief for his role in a rape. Shawn Wren ignored the 580+ requests and chose to not advocate on behalf of the rape survivor to receive justice. The rape survivor was never interviewed for an investigation against the Chief. The Chief is still serving even after two Coast Guardswomen came forward with allegations against the Chief.

Shawn Wren allowed further victimization of rape survivors including verbal abuse against women that came forward with rape, kicking out rape survivors from the service and even knowingly were aware of at least one rape survivor that is banned from entering a Coast Guard base even after being invited back in. In all those incidents she chose to not get involved to help the survivor

Shawn Wren allowed the following victim-blaming act to be committed by members of the United States Coast Guard:

1. Shawn Wren was aware of rape survivors being called “crazy”, “liars”, or told that they deserve to be raped by members of the United States Coast Guard. Shawn Wren chose to not advocate for the multiple rape survivors or even contact the rape survivor to offer assistance!

2. Shawn Wren was aware of Coast Guard members inviting Coast Guard rape survivors back on to a Coast Guard base for the sole reason to further abuse and humiliate them by banning them from even entering the Coast Guard base! Shawn Wren chose to not advocate for the rape survivors.

3. Shawn Wren was aware of E-6s and above and O-4s and above publicly posting victim-slandering (see 1.) statements on public websites which includes but not limited to military.com, cgchiefs.com and yahoo answers. Shawn Wren chose to not advocate for the multiple rape survivors.

If the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Coordinator  (SAPR) is not going to be there for rape survivor then who is? The Coast Guard has an epidemic of sexual violence, often said to be much worst than the four other branches of the military. Part of this epidemic is the rape culture that is thriving within the Coast Guard with what seems like zero attempts to prevent it.  Rape survivors should not be verbally abused for coming forward or banned from entering a Coast Guard base because they reported a rape.

Our Coast Guardsmen and women deserve better. For not being there for rape survivors and service providers Shawn Wren is on the My Duty to Speak Wall of Shame.

9 comments

  1. If she is going to ignore 580+ people then of course she is going to ignore everyone else who don’t have 580 people backing them up. Very disturbing.

  2. Another example of how the CG isn’t helping to stop Sexual Assaults. :-( I don’t see the CG doing much until we can get the Pentagon and Congress to realize that it should be inlcuded with all the mandates and investigations they require of the DoD. What can I do to help?

  3. I worked with the Congress to advocate for a hiring of a Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Coordinator. When Shawn Wren was hired to do the job and the first few times I spoken to her I felt that she was truly going to revamp the entire rape culture in the Coast Guard and prevent what happened to me to happen to others in the Coast Guard. My first few conversations with her she seemed very motivated and understanding of the problem. Then everything changed. She become a rape apologist, she ignored rape survivors, she ignored phone calls from myself, my staff and organizations that are part of the MST Coalition. She even denied the request to be part of a monthly teleconference call hosted by MRCC that has MST specialists from around the country to speak about ways to work together. We have DoD and VA personnel on those phone calls but the Coast Guard does not want to get involved whatsoever.

    I wish that I knew what happened. I am massively disappointed in the way this all turned out. I want the Shawn Wren that was first hired by the Coast Guard that Shawn Wren would have done a kick ass job. The Shawn Wren that has been emotionally drained and beaten down by the patriarchy is not going to offer my shipmates the help that they need. In my honest professional opinion Shawn Wren needs to no longer be on a tax payers payroll. There are too many serious allegations against her that I feel that it is way too deep into it for it to be undone.

    I am on the field all the time constantly talking to Active Duty Coast Guard rape survivors and also those who are serving with rape survivors are reporting back to me what they are seeing. What is happening out there is not what our brave Coast Guardsmen and women deserve. We all deserve much better.

    Elsa, I am going to email you. There is a project that I recently started up that would be launched very shortly. We’ll love to have you involved.

  4. Refusing to help a rape survivor receive even just an investigation against a Chief. Banning Coast Guard rape survivors from going on base. Blaming rape survivors that come forward. Those are all very serious abusive situations that a rape survivor should have had someone like Shawn Wren by their side to make sure that stuff like that are not happening.

    These are serious offenses that Shawn Wren is being accused of. If you can prove that Shawn Wren was aware of all of this plus more than sue her cause you sure know that the Coast Guard does not care about it women to do anything.

  5. If I understand correctly Shawn M. Wren is in charge of the entire sexual assault program in the Coast Guard but is failing at it? Obviously read all the stories on here. Even just if one of those were happening that is more than enough to fire her. She is not going to end rapes but she could make it easier for victims to come forward without retaliation. Simply picking up the phone and tell the command to not blame the victim is what needs to be done in most of the cases.

  6. Don’t let the Coast Guard fool you. Shawn Wren is only there for show. The Coast Guard did not give her any real authority to change the program. Sure she could have done some training, recruited some Active Duty folks to serve as “victim advocates” while degrading them all by calling all survivors “victims” or perhaps had one of two cases end up in court martial. What Bob said is incorrect. Shawn can not simply call a Captain or an Admiral and tell them to stop blaming the survivor.

    Most who abuse are high ranking officers. The E-3s or E-4s do not have the authority to kick a rape survivor out of service or block a rape survivor from entering a military base. Those victim blaming acts are being committed by people that don’t respect Shawn Wren because of her rank (No rank) and feel that they are untouchable. Sadly they are right. I have yet seen a person in the Coast Guard prosecuted under Article 134 for how they dealt with a rape case.

  7. Instead of developing programs to improve sexual assault and rape the Coast Guard is going to introduce a new program that is 20 years backwards. What is going to happen is ”only officers designated as special court-martial convening authorities in the grade of O-6 or higher may make the initial case disposition decision with respect to rape, sexual assault and forcible sodomy; attempts to commit those offenses in violation of
    Articles 120, 125 and 80 of the UCMJ; and other misconduct arising out of or
    relating to the same incident.”

    Who are the ones kicking out rape survivors? Who are the ones banning rape survivors from entering back on a Coast Guard base? Who are the ones blaming rape survivors? Those are usually the O-6s and above. Now the Coast Guard wants to take all the power and give it to those that we hear about over and over again are the ones that are covering up rapes and manipulating the system.

    I work with MRCC. I do the intakes for most people that comes in or calls in and we see a disproportion number of active duty Coast Guardsmen and women calling in for services because the Coast Guard does not provide a safe environment in which they can report a sexual assault or rape. Probably over 95% of all Coast Guard rape survivors that come to us that did report the rape (the majority don\’t feel safe enough to do so) report that it is an O-6 or above that are processing them out. In most cases the only ones that are treating rape survivors as human beings and ’shipmates’ are E-2 up to E-4s. Sadly though, those honorable Coast Guardsmen and women that choose to help a rape survivor are so fed up with the Coast Guard after the entire process that the Coast Guard has a difficult time retaining them.

    Yesterday one of MRCC\’s organizational allies was at a Congressional Hearing in which Rear Admiral Stosz was in attendance. At the Congressional Hearing Admiral Stosz testified that the Coast Guard Academy has a difficult time retaining women because women “wants to get married and have kids.” What Admiral Stosz failed to mention is the amount of sexual assault and rapes that are occurring at the Coast Guard Academy (to the point that MRCC now hosts TWO peer support groups for CADETS ONLY) and a system in place that makes it close to impossible to receive support and help.

    Shawn Wren is a barrier to all Coast Guardsmen and women that are raped. Coast Guard Active Duty rape survivors feel that she needs to go therefore we will continue to advocate on their behalf.

    abby@stopmilitaryrape.org

  8. ”only officers designated as special court-martial convening authorities in the grade of O-6 or higher may make the initial case disposition decision with respect to rape, sexual assault and forcible sodomy; attempts to commit those offenses in violation of
    Articles 120, 125 and 80 of the UCMJ; and other misconduct arising out of or
    relating to the same incident.”

    Were they drunk when they decided on this?

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