Coast Guard

Sexually Harassed, Hazed, Discriminated Against and DISCHARGED for reporting it-United States Coast Guard

Anonymous, United States Coast Guard

Entered the CG in 2005 with intent to serve 20 and retire.Got to my first small boat station in a depressed area in Maine not far from Canadian border .First day an MK3 said he hopes I am NOT like the other females that came through here. Thought nothing of it until comments because blatently discriminatory, sexist and degrading towards women. Male infidelity at that station was rampid and with everything I had seen, heard and experienced I felt very uncomfortable and unsafe. Kept my berthing room locked in fear I would be raped by one of the animals there. Comments became worse daily and anytime I asked for help or training, I was denied.

The word N@#$!R was constantly used by the unit and being raised amongst diversity in NYC, I took great offense to those comments as well. One offgoing day the OIC called me into office regarding sign offs and when he asked WHY I did not have much signed off that is when I told him about what was going on.His comment was that he heard I was a whiner and to keep asking for help.I told him I am not going to keep asking for help when doors are literally slammed in my face, being harassed, ignored or mocked.He dismissed me and said he did not want to hear it so I left.

I finally had enough after a conversation transpired between an MK3, SK2 and non rate pertaining to “knocking up” a local girl and how that all could have been prevented if they would have “put it in her pooper”. There were more comments about punching the girl in the stomach to induce a miscarriage also.Spoke to a chaplain and was advised to speak with the command Master Chief.Went down to the SFO on my offday to talk to him in the Chiefs Mess and told him what was going on. Everything was investigated by a YNC with NO EXPERIENCE at all AND was eventually demoted when I was on my way out for sexual harassment himself.

Was transferred to the SFO and worked with the HS1 there for a year while my shoulder surgery healed, an injury I sustained at my first unit because of the negligence of command and the “suck it up” attitude.Was promised a career change after numerous recommendations by Orthopedist to change rate because if I stay a BM I will destroy my shoulders and have major problems later in life.Career change NEVER happened and I was put back at the small boat station alongside the SFO.

The OIC there already knew who I was, the whole base did before I reported because the YNC that investigated my case blabbed his mouth to everyone and I was discriminated against again and everything that transpired was all bias based upon reporting the sexual harassment.I was a liar, rumors were spread about me on base and I had few friends of which later got close to me to find out dirt and report back to superiors.I became pregnant, was on maternity leave, came back and was forced to qualify boat crew AGAINST my orthopedists advice otherwise I will be removed from the HS”A” list.

I was removed from the list when I was #4 and due to attend the next class.I re-injured my left shoulder AFTER I had surgery and recovered 110%.Was STILL harassed about qualifying and threatened by OIC to be discharged.OIC even passed the comment “getting pregnant didn’t help my career”.I hired a private attorney and after 15k wasted THE CG THREW ME OUT at 20% with a major shoulder injury that has given me nerve damage and constant pain and migranes.The VA will not do anything for me because of the rating.My medical record was also NEVER sent to the VA and no one knows where it is at the SFO…SHOCKER.All of this is not even close to what I had experienced..too much to write.For all of those that are speaking up and fighting for all you have been through…KEEP FIGHTING and STAY STRONG..there is a light at the end of this tunnel!FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!

Wall of Shame: J. Scott Keene, United States Coast Guard

Jonathan Scott Keene is currently employed by Boston University. When two of the survivors, alumni and students at Boston University brought this to the attention of the college they were told that if they continue to speak out about it that they will be charged with slander. Read the original email from Larry Elswit, Boston University Associate General Counsel.

Update November 10, 2011

Two more women came forward with allegations that J. Scott Keene fired them as a result of them blowing the whistle on illegal and unethical behavior in the Coast Guard. A 2007 Coast Guard petty officer report being involuntarily discharged from the Coast Guard for reason of reporting a sexual harassment and rape. A civilian Coast Guard employee who blew the whistle on fraud was forced into retirement. Captain Keene was well aware of the fraud but chose to not investigate.

Update July 14, 2011

As if things could not get much worse. J was a civilian employee with the Coast Guard ending her employment in 2006 after experiencing sexual harassment in the workforce.  According to her victim statement she allegedly “reported it and it fell on deaf ears.” The further up she went the more she was blamed for the harassment. She reports that: “they questioned me on my looks and told me that perhaps I was dressing too provocatively. I usually came to work in slacks and a button down shirt or sweater. They even suggested that I cut my hair. It was never investigated and I won’t be surprise if it was never even documented.” Eventually she went to the Commanding Officer, Scott Keene, hoping that he could hear her out but he allegedly chose to not renew her contract when it ended several months later. Being a single mother she needed to put the entire incident behind her and get herself a job to support her children but not without still dealing with the pain and suffering that comes with victims of sexual harassment. She wrote: “I still think about what happened everyday. I even have nightmares about it. Working full time and raising 3 kids on my own I do not have time nor the money for counseling. I know that one day he’ll get what he deserves for ruining so many careers and lives.”

Original post February 28, 2011 @17:28

In 1989, a woman in the Coast Guard was sexually assaulted on board Coast Guard cutter Cowslip. The Executive Office, Lieutenant J. Scott Keene allegedly felt that because this woman reported the assault that she was no longer fit for military duty. She was denied medical and psychological treatment to process the rape and instead she  needed to fight to keep her career and to stay in the Coast Guard. Fortunately for her, coming from a Coast Guard family, she was able to use her family connection and despite being assaulted she was able to continue and had a very successful Coast Guard career retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer. J. Scott Keene was incorrect for trying to process a sexual assault survivor out of service and the survivor has proven that she could be successful in the Coast Guard.

Fast forward to 2006. A woman in the Coast Guard was brutally raped while at Coast Guard station Burlington, VT. As a way to separate the perpetrator and the victim, the victim was sent to Coast Guard Boston. While at Coast Guard Boston, the Commander Officer, now Captain J. Scott Keene allegedly felt that because this woman reported a rape that she was no longer fit for military duty. He abused his power and under his command J. Scott Keene allowed this woman to be further victimized, refused medical and psychological treatment to process the rape and instead she needed to fight for her career to stay in. This woman, not coming from a Coast Guard family did lose her career under the approval of J. Scott Keene for being raped. Not satisfied with the way her rape allegations were being handled by Captain J. Scott Keene she formed the Military Rape Crisis Center to offer support to her shipmates. Even though this woman never was given the opportunity to prove to the Coast Guard that she was able to be successful in the service she has proven through her non-profit organization that she is very hardworking, ambitious, successful and a great lost to the Coast Guard.

J. Scott Keene has a solid history of failing to protect sexual assault and rape survivors under his command. J. Scott Keene has violated  constitutional and civil rights of multiple sexual assault and rape survivors. For that we have added J. Scott Keene, United States Coast Guard on the Wall of Shame.

J. Scott Keene retired from the United States Coast Guard and was hired by Boston University.

To sign a petition to protect students at Boston University from also falling victim to this man go here:

written by M.O

The rape investigation the Coast Guard claims never happened.

PO3, United States Coast Guard

I reported a rape on a Coast Guard cutter in 2009. I was a lower ranking enlisted member and the perpetrator was an E-7. After reporting it a YN sat down with me to hear my side of the story. After I told him he spoken to the E-7 and then came back to me and said that the E-7 denied raping me and because I did not have any physical injuries he can not go further with my allegations. I was not treated for rape, a rape kit was never offered to me even though I reported it within hours of the rape and did not shower and followed all procedures like you are suppose to.  CGIS were never contacted which I later found out that they were required to do so. I requested my investigation files and they said that they do not have them. It was like my rape never happened. The YN should not have been investigating it in the first place and he didn’t tell anyone that he was. All I have is a statement from a shipmate that remembered that I reported a rape. That is all. They kicked me out because I have a personality disorder and with an RE-4 discharge I can not even re-enlist even after I found out that the personality disorder was a misdiagnoses.basically my entire life has been destroyed because of how the Coast Guard dealt with my rape. Maybe if I was able to have a rape kit or if CGIS were involved the outcome would have been different but who is holding these people accountable when they are not even doing their job for reporting it to the appropriate people? They do not teach you what to do when you are raped. All the training is about how not to get raped but how about if you are raped and your command does not listen. What do you do then? What was I suppose to do? The about section of this website states that there were 3230 reported rapes in the military last year however how about my case, does that count part of the 3230 or were it just covered up and not included? Cause if Coast Guard headquarters nor CGIS knew about it why will it be included in that number. How many more rapes that are actually reported that are not included in those numbers. The Coast Guard has to read this article by Panayiota and take her advice…. She the only one in the entire Coast Guard that believed me and knows what she is talking about.  Why isn’t she running the sexual assault program? Instead we have someone that thinks that everything is perfect and victims are respected. We are not. The Coast Guard is losing way too many women because they are clueless on how to deal with rapes. The Coast Guard DOES NOT CARE. Instead of saying that they screwed up and want to improve they constantly think that they take allegations seriously. No, they do not. Just like an alcoholic first step is to admit that they have a problem then they can get help, the Coast Guard’s first step in improving their sexual assault policy is to admit that what they are doing now is not working. Then they can work towards improving but they have not done that yet. Where is Shawn Wren? she never returned my phone calls. Where was work-life? they never returned my phone calls. Where are all these people who are suppose to be help. Why are they not returning phone calls from rape survivors? Not even the Chaplin returned my numerous phone calls. My mother called the Commandant and was concerned on why in over a year I was still on the same ship as my rapist and they never even returned her phone calls. My mother went into a recruiting office cause that is the only Coast Guard-related office near her home demanding to know what is going on and they kicked her out threatening her with arrest while saying that rape is a serious crime and that the Coast Guard always deals with it seriously. They looked at her like she lost her mind when she said that for over a year her daughter is still on the same ship as her rapist. They actually tried to say that she was lying! Why couldn’t they help her? Imagine if it was your daughter.

Who is holding the commands accountable who are ignoring the allegations? Who is making sure that rape survivors who been forced out of service are able to re-enlist despite if they were un-rightfully given an RE-4 or had to be in counseling to process the rape?

When we report rape they say that we are lying and were never raped. When we report that our investigations were not dealt with properly they deny that we even reported raped. It is a constant head game and they are wrong. So wrong. I never met anyone more evil than a person in the Coast Guard that say that all allegations are taking seriously. If my allegations were taken seriously why wasn’t CGIS informed? Why wasn’t I able to get medical treatment or even just a rape kit? No one even told me that I had the option of restricted or unrestricted reporting until months later when I found out from MRCC’s website. if you too been raped in the military please speak out. if you are thinking about reporting a rape do it but make sure that you carry a tape recorder with you at ALL TIMES cause they are going to come back and deny EVERYTHING. Heck they probably would deny the conversations in the recordings but at least if you have something to show the VA or the public it can make them believe you easier. I wish that I did that and envy those that I heard that did. The Coast Guard is going to say that you are lazy and crazy and not fit for military duty but it is all lies and you can not fall for it. You are going to be called a whore, a ho and a slut. They are going to assume that if you been raped you been drinking even if you were not. They are going to call you stupid. Your career is going to come to an end. You’ll end up with a bunch of bogus page 7’s. I received a page 7 for wearing a t-shirt  with yellow writing instead of white. Well the yellow writing was the ones that we all wore that we ordered with our unit’s name on it. I was wearing the shirt that I ordered from them and they wrote me up for wearing it.  I was not the only one that wore it. Some wore non-Coast Guard issue shirts from American Apparel or whatever and some were not even the same shade of blue but nobody cared about them. You need to do something for yourself each day to know that you are worthy and not the shitty Coast Guardsman that they are going to make you out to be. Get help and counseling from someone other than the Coast Guard. Don’t tell the Coast Guard that you are getting help. I wish that I knew that cause I received all of my help through the Coast Guard and am just so tired of them not believing me. They also lost my medical records, did I say that already? Yes they lost my medical records. The VA social worker called all over looking for my records and they said that they don’t have it. I recently found out that if you been raped state side or even if you are deployed you may be able to get free services through the state. I live in the same state that my ship was home ported at and the state’s victim compensation fund is paying for my therapy. Look into that and stay away from any military-related, tri-care related therapy. Just imagine how a rape victim is treated in Saudi Arabia or in the 1940s and that is how you are going to be treated in the Coast Guard.  I am not the best writer. Writing this has been very difficult but I know it needs to be said with tears falling down my eyes with each letter that I type.  that is all I have to say.


Editor’s Note: The 3230 reported rapes that we have posted on About My Duty to Speak are the number of reported rapes from the Department of Defense four military branches; Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The United States Coast Guard which is under the Department of Homeland Security is not included in those statistics.

Coast Guard ignored rape allegations cost young woman her life.

by NFM….United States Coast Guard

My niece was in the United States Coast Guard and was raped. She reported it and they told her that she was lying to get attention. They never did any official investigation even though many times she requested it. For over a year she had to work under the direct command of the man that raped her causing even further damage. Summer 2009 she was separated from service for reason of Personality Disorder, a condition that she does not have. She spent many months after getting out of the Coast Guard in a deep depression afraid to leave the house except to go out and buy booze to drink away her problems. In January 2010 she was found by her little sister. She had a fatal overdose on prescription drugs given to her by the Coast Guard that she held on. In her journal she wrote that she could not handle how she felt from being raped and the deep betrayal that she felt from the Coast Guard. She wrote of severe hazing on her ship, being raped, and the Coast Guard reaction to the rape.

I hold the United States Coast Guard 100% responsible for what happened to my niece and to the hundreds of other women that are raped. The Coast Guard still denies that my niece was ever raped and won’t take responsibility for her death.

Thank you for reading this. I sent this email to the Coast Guard Commandant and no response.

Editor note: The Commandant ignored her email like they ignored her niece’s rape allegations. Contact the Commandant yourself and say that this and all rapes in the Coast Guard are unacceptable and that the Coast Guard should do more to protect it service members.


Phone: 202-372-4411

A witness speaks out. United States Coast Guard

John, United States Coast Guard

We had a woman come on our base from another unit where she reported a rape. Before she even made it to our unit everyone knew why she was being transferred and we were told to stay away from her cause we don’t want to find ourselves in a situation that would have her accusing us of rape.

She was assigned to work at the on-base coffee shop and I saw her every morning when I went to get my coffee. Over time I would have small talk with her and she was very quiet and reserved but you can tell that she was a very nice person and not the “lying, crazy whore that was raped” that everyone made her out to be but I still kept my distance and only talked to her a  few minutes each morning.

All the buildings on base are connected to each other through walkways. One afternoon I was walking to another building and saw a group of Coast Guardsmen in one corner of the walkway towards the building. When I looked closer I saw the woman surrounded by the men crying telling them to leave her alone. They were calling her a “crazy, lying whore” and telling her that she will pay for “snitching on their friend” and one said that “you are hot, I’ll love to rape you too”. I made my presence noticed by asking what is going on here and soon all the men backed off and acted like they were not doing anything wrong. They greeted me and left. The woman, her uniform ripped up and her in tears ran off the opposite direction.  I couldn’t even ask her if she was okay but she was obviously very shaken up.

I went straight to the Coast Guard Investigative Office on base to report what happened and the special agent told me that he knows who I am talking about and that the “investigation is a mess” and it is best that I do “not get involved”.   I was forced to leave. Christine Sullivan and Patricia Tutalo from work life was not any better. I knew that if I pushed the issue that my career would be in jeopardy.

Soon after she transferred out of the coffee shop and sent to work in another department and did not see her as often. Then one day she disappeared assuming she got discharged or transferred.

A couple of years later I was on-line and read something about a woman writing about her rape in the Coast Guard. She talked about being placed to work at the on-base coffee shop and made mention of being told “you are hot, i’ll love to rape you too” and I knew that it was the same woman. I tracked her down on facebook and sent her a message. She was a bit hesitant  at first, I would be too but over time we started to talk. I saw this on facebook and decided to submit my story to get another perspective of what is happening in our military.

Some of us do want to help but we are threatened by special agents or military police that we should “mind our own business” and our jobs are on the line if we do not. Now that I am out of the Coast Guard I can speak more freely. I do wonder at time how her story will be different if I spoke up and tried to help her.

I hope one day that she can submit her own story but for now this is how I witnessed what happened to her. I am a father, a husband and a brother and one of the women in my life were brutally raped and I know how rape affects victims and their families.

My rape at TRACEN Cape May, United States Coast Guard

By Stacey, United States Coast Guard

Joining the Coast Guard seemed only natural for me. My Grand-father was a retired United States Coast Guard officer, my father and my three uncles all served with the Coast Guard, with an uncle that was a Master Chief. I grew up in a fundamental evangelical home having been home schooled by my mother and father who has become a pastor since leaving the Coast Guard. At the age of 17 I was on the bus to TRACEN Cape May, NJ to continue the family tradition.

I do not remember much about the rape. It was week six. I was called into the office of my Company Commander. He closed the door and raped me. I don’t remember much else. I remember after it all happened sitting on the floor of my squad bay watching my shipmates as if everything was in slow motion. Sitting there, numb. I could not cry. I think they called us to go somewhere or something cause I remember them all leaving. I remember just sitting there and my lead Company Commander (not the rapist) coming in looking for me. He was angry that I was not in formation and kept on asking what was wrong with me but I could not respond. He sent me to medical. I remember the medics asking me questions. Ridicules questions and I could only nod yes or no. I was sent to the hospital in town. A friendly nurse asked what was wrong but I could not respond.I was mute. I could not talk. She finally asked if I was raped and I nodded yes and started to cry. A rape kit was conducted at the hospital. Because of the level of emotional distress that I was feeling I was required to stay several nights in the psych. unit.

When I returned to TRACEN Cape May I was reverted to an earlier company. It was their way of separating us. I still saw my assailant at the chowhall and he found it fun to pick me out in line and question me on Coast Guard-related material. It was not much different than what every other recruit had to do only difference is that I was doing this with the man that raped me. He was eventually told not to speak to me and by doing so they moved my chow hour till after everybody left the mess deck. Not only was I being pulled away from my company to be investigated and questioned but was also ordered to eat alone. That Sunday I went to the religious services that was offered for all recruits. The Chaplin allowed me to use his phone to call home. I left a message for my parents.

On Monday and every Monday after that for almost six months I was reverted to an earlier company. I received orders to Seattle but because of the rape allegations I had to remain in Cape May until the investigation was complete. Instead of allowing me to graduate and assigning me a temporary position somewhere in Cape May they instead decided to revert me. I know week-six of Coast Guard bootcamp like the back of my hand, I did after all repeated it 23 times.

The investigation was a very difficult process. They questioned me close to 20 times often repeating the questions as if they were hoping that I would give a different response and change my story. I did not. I was asked why I went to my Company Commander’s office. What recruit will say no when her Company Commander calls her to their office? They asked if I was flirtatious to him. I was 17 years old being raised and homeschooled by conservative fundamentalist evangelist I do not think I knew what being flirtatious even meant. They also asked what I was wearing and told them my uniform just like every other recruit. The rape kit was “misplaced” and eventually they blamed me for losing the rape kit. It is against policy wherever you go to give the rape kit to the survivor but was to be kept by the hospital or law enforcement officials to review for forensic evidence yet somehow it was my fault for it being misplaced Almost six months later the investigation was concluded and they found “not enough creditable evidence to prosecute”. Years later I was unable to find a copy of my investigation and medical records from the Coast Guard. I was able to locate my hospital records from the civilian hospital that shows that a rape kit was performed. I was allowed to graduate and during graduation I could not find my family in the stands.

I had two weeks off before I had to report to duty. I went home and my mom answered the door and acted like it was any other day. My dad did not even get up from the couch. My Grandfather that lived upstairs in our duplex did not make an appearance. Something was wrong. This was not the welcome home that I was expecting. I went to my room and went to bed. The next morning everybody in my house exploded. My family was embarrassed and angry at me. My Grandfather, in his 35 years of service knew of only three rape cases and in each case the woman was “lying”. He was angry that I became “one of those girls”. My uncle agreed with him. My mother, being very fundamentalist religious was most concern about my virginity-or lack of and how pre-maritial sex looks in God’s eyes. I guess there is a quote somewhere in the bible that says that women who are raped are at fault and we should have fought till we die cause we are useless if we are rape victim and better off dead. I just remember her repeating it constantly to me. I was now a sinner. I spent the remaining days crashing at a friend’s house before making my way to Seattle.

In Seattle a shipmate picked me up from the airport and first thing he asked me was what did I do to get in trouble. I did not understood his question. It turns out that TRACEN Cape May told the crew of my unit that I was being delayed in Cape May due to an investigation, that is true, but it was interpreted by the crew that I was the one being investigated. Less than six months later I was being separated from service.

I was not welcomed back home. Because of my age and no job I was having difficulties renting an apartment in Seattle without a co-signer. I did not even own a car that I could live in. I met some people and went through a downwards, self destructive path. They introduced me to drugs and alcohol. The VA rated at 100% for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I used the disability money to self medicate because the pain that I was feeling from the rape and betrayal was so severe that I only knew how to numb it with alcohol and drugs. I knew I needed to improve my life. I ended up in a college class room. I never completed that semester. The kids in my class were around my age and living without a care in the world while I was dealing with a rape, being betrayed by my shipmates, my family and my country as well as being homeless. I moved constantly, mostly with men who were no good for me. I was battling severe addiction problems. I ended up in Boston at a party where I met my future husband who was a junior in college. We hit it off pretty well and I crashed on his couch for several weeks till he told me to get myself a job or move out. With his help I went through intense treatment for alcohol and drugs and finally made my way back to college and this time I graduated. We got married and moved to Washington DC for Graduate School. I landed a job working with the Congress where I am still employed today. I have a two years old son and another on the way. I have been sober for close to 10 years.

It is not all a happy ending though. My family is still not speaking to me, not even to see their grandson. They are even angrier that I went public with my story. However I do have a new family now; my son, my husband and his very supportive family. I also have my sisters, not sisters by blood but sisters in that we all served and all we been raped. Most importantly my little sister and the only person that I can call shipmate. I met her when she stood on the steps on Capital Hill telling America that she was Active Duty Coast Guard and a rape survivor. I remember just turning around and telling her “me too” and automatically we knew what each other went through and built a bond that won’t ever be broken. That is my family now.

I am lucky, I have a fairly high position working for a Congressperson and access to the entire Congress at my fingertips. But what about other people? It’s my duty to do whatever I can to stop this abuse and I hope by sharing my experience that anyone who feel that they are at the very bottom and do not see a way out that there is help out there and you can continue to live a very successful life despite what we went through in the military. If you told 19 years old me living on the street that one day I’ll be working for a Congressperson and be married with kids I wouldn’t have believed it but as long as you surround yourself with people that want to help and get professional treatment you can get better. It does get better but we need to work for it. I still have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and extreme anger by what happened to me in the Coast Guard but I need to take that anger and channel it in a positive way that would make changes for the better.

Raped by a Coast Guard Captain and why I didn’t report it.

by Bethanny, United States Coast Guard

I was a 21 years old MK3.  A Captain (O-6)  in my unit solicited the crew for babysitters for his three young children. Myself and an E-3 volunteered to do so. Alternating weekends as our duty schedule allow us we’ll take turns babysitting. This went on for over a year and I grew to love the children, his wife became my mother away from home and I was sad when I received orders to another unit and had to leave the children. On my last day of babysitting I was at his house watching TV, the kids were already upstairs asleep when his wife and him came home from a wedding. The Captain was slightly intoxicated. His wife went upstairs to check on the children while the Captain remained downstairs with me. Since it was my last day I wanted to say a proper goodbye to his wife so I stayed downstairs for her to come back down. The Captain said he has something for me in the kitchen, I assumed it was a good-bye gift or something so I followed him into the kitchen where he threw me against the wall, ripped my clothes and raped me. As soon as I could I ran out of that house and drove home. I never said good bye to his wife.

I don’t know why I did not report it. I was an E-4 and he was of higher ranked and very liked and well respected in the fleet. I also were PCSing to a unit within 03 weeks and he was set to retire in the upcoming year or two. I knew that I wouldn’t see him again after these 03 weeks. The next few weeks were difficult though and he was on my case for everything. He ended up giving me a negative page 7 for being late, something a man of his rank would never had taken the time to do  if it was any other situation, the two shipmates that I car pooled in and arrived at the same time as me were given a free pass. I knew that he was only trying to ruin my credibility in case I ever chose to report what happened.

I spent the next three years on a 210′. His wife sent me an email telling me how the children misses me and how I am always welcomed at their home. I deleted that email. Sometime during that tour I read an article that the Captain retired and quotes from others on how a wonderful human being that he was and how he always put his crew first. It just went on saying how a great person and leader that he was. You know, typical words of praise that someone gets when they retire. I ran to the head and vomited.

I ended up advancing to MK2 and my contract was up. I spoken to the Chief, my mentor at the time, who were encouraging me to re-enlist and stay in the Coast Guard. He saw how passionate I was about the Coast Guard and my job and felt that I could go really far in the service. I think it was a shocker to all when I declined to renew my contract.

What I did not allow anyone to know is how I felt inside. How I go in complete panic mode when I see a man with a Silver Eagle. How I wake up each night from a nightmare that I am back at the Captain’s house being raped. I knew that I needed to leave the Coast Guard to get help and get my sanity back. The summer of 2009 I left the Coast Guard and made my way home to where I grew up in Southern Connecticut. I enrolled in the VA system and sought counseling for Military Sexual Trauma. I attend support groups in New London hosted by the Military Rape Crisis Center and hear cadets and other Active Duty Coast Guardsman on why they too can not report their assaults. I applied for disability compensation and was denied because I did not report it and therefore there is no record that it ever happened. Everyday has been a battle just to live and often I am barely making it.

I do not regret leaving the Coast Guard. I knew that I had no other choice. I do not regret not reporting. the rape. Remember how a wonderful person and leader that this Captain was said to be? Why would anyone believe an E-4 instead of him? I do miss his children though and his wife and fear for his daughters. I just wish that there was a better system in place where we could feel safer to report it. I am now married and have a child of my own and just trying to get my life back together but the pain from the rape is still there and probably would forever be.

Sorry, my fault.

I was raped and they said that I wanted it then they said that I was lying then they went back to saying that I asked for it so I told them to make up their mind-Was my rape a lie or did I do something to ‘get myself raped’? and they went back to contradicting themselves; that I wanted it, that I am lying but I deserved it- then they discharged me from service.

That was how it went. That it how it always goes. Every survivor, every story. We are all told that we deserved what they think never happened. Cause you know we deserve being raped or being assaulted or being killed just cause we are the female

and we are the ones that chose to drink- but it okay for our comrade to spike it with GHB?

Our fault cause we are the ones that chose to go hiking with a shipmate-but it is okay when our shipmate throw us down on the trail, punch us in the face and rape us?

Our fault cause we are the ones that chose to use the latrine in the middle of the night – but it is okay when a fellow soldier follow us and rape us?

and we are the ones that are fulfilling every man’s fantasy of seeing a “hot woman with a rifle”.

Yep, our fault.

Cause we wanted to serve our country, cause we been raped and beaten–or killed.

Our fault cause we are young or lower ranked or pretty.

Our fault cause we chose a career that is male-dominant.

Our fault that our shipmates, our comrades, the very men that we signed up to take a bullet for choose to rape us instead.

Never mind you did say that–we are all liars, right?

that we are just out to ruin a man’s career-cause you know we signed up to defend our country, attend basic training, MOS training, deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan or out at sea for months without seeing our families, get raped just because we wanted to RUIN A PRECIOUS MAN’S CAREER. Yep, that is exactly why we walked into a recruiter office when we were 18NOT.

Or we are lying out of regret and remorse for “getting drunk and sleeping around” cause you know, it is our fault for being drugged, after all you did consent when you are passed out from being given a date rape drug, right? Well not exactly.

When we watch our rapists be set free with nothing more than an Article 15, it is our fault for not receiving justice, cause after all you claim to have a “zero-tolerance policy“so if we did not receive justice it is something that we have done wrong even when about ninety-percent of all accused rapists never see their day in court?

and when we are found dead you claim it is suicide, cause a 5’1 woman can shoot herself with an 40 inch long M16, cause it is still our fault when we are no longer breathing for doing what is physically the impossible?

Ninety-two percent of sexual assault survivors report being INVOLUNTARILY DISCHARGED FROM SERVICE FOR REPORTING A SEXUAL ASSAULT but it is the man’s career that matters? Cause we are the ones with “personality disorders” and “adjustment disorders” or whatever the bogus misdiagnoses is of the week.

Cause it is the man’s military and a woman has no place in it, right?

One in three females in the military report being sexually assaulted, so are we all liars or are we all sluts or maybe, just maybe the thousands of women that reported rape in the military were telling the truth?

my fault for thinking that the military actually cared about its sexual assault survivors. sorry.


Written by Panayiota, United States Coast Guard



It all started when a local newspaper published my rape story. I was called into James Freeman office to be told by James Freeman, Lt. Patricia Tutalo, Lt. Thomas Gwilliam and Commander Joseph Segalla to no longer speak to others about my rape. They were angry that I, an E-3 took it upon herself to inform the public that I was raped and that my command did absolutely NOTHING TO HELP ME. They were concern not about their lack of response to help a shipmate that was raped, they were concern not about the threats that I was receiving from my own shipmates but instead they were concern on how this would this look like for the Coast Guard reputation.  The next day I was handed a DD-214 and knew that I was given the liberty to speak.

The next few years I had the opportunity to share my story with members of the Congress, on national television and in several books including one that been taught in college history classes nationwide. I shared my story while on stage before 20,000 people and shared my story one-on-one with the new XO of the very unit that I reported my rape, in the very room. Each and every time I get to share my story I become stronger and know I am no longer that E-3 rape victim but a woman that survived something horrendous and lived to speak about it.

As I share my command’s response to my rape allegations, the civilian public jaws drop. How can a woman, in this day and age be treated so horrific and straight out backwards just cause she was raped? I have to remind them that what I went through while serving my country is nothing unique. It is happening to as many as one in three women in the military as well as many men. In the year 2011 right here in the United States of America rape survivors are still not being believed, being blamed for, losing their careers and at times murdered for reporting a sexual assault.

I know the pain of betrayal far exceed the physical pain of the assault itself. I know how it feels like to be treated like a criminal just for being a victim. I know how it feels like to lose your career while watching your perpetrator go unpunished. I know how it feels like to walk on base and hear “whore” or “liar” be thrown your way. I know that what I went through in 2006 has been going on for decades and it is still goes on today. I know that I do not want any more of my comrades, my vet-sisters, my shipmates to go through what I went through which is why I am sharing my story.

I am  inviting you all to do so as well. If you are a survivor, a family member, or a service member that witnessed abuse please share your story. Together, with the public knowledge of what is really happening in our military we can put an end to the truculent treatment of Military Sexual Trauma survivors.

To share your story visit: Be Heard


Coast Guard Station Burlington VT and Coast Guard Boston