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.
As I was responding to an email to Captain Christine Cutter, United States Coast Guard District 1 Legal on why evidence that I thought was vital to the investigation and why what I told CGIS during the investigation does not add up to what CGIS documented I thought that many others may have similar questions on their investigation or CG handling of rape cases.
The United States Coast Guard is the smallest branch of the military but has the highest percentage of service members seeking services through the Military Rape Crisis Center and its affiliates. Earlier this month the Military Rape Crisis Center held it first male-only peer support group for rape survivors at the Coast Guard Academy. The response was overwhelming from cadets needing to talk about their trauma in a confidential and safe environment. The Military Rape Crisis Center also holds a women-only peer support group for cadets in New London that meets monthly.
Active Duty members also need our help. The Military Rape Crisis Center Maine Coordinator, Jennifer, tried endlessly to find support for our Maine Coast Guard survivors. As it stands now the Coast Guard does not offer any support for it Maine’ shipmates. My shipmates in Maine who been assaulted first need to contact Boston, hope that the SARC return phone calls in a timely manner-Jennifer had an average of 3-4 days for phone calls to be returned-only to be referred to a non-Coast Guard base in Maine that is rumored to be shutting down. Not acceptable for a woman or man that just experienced the worst trauma of their life and evidence needs to be collected in a timely manner.
If you are like me and feel that members of the United States Coast Guard deserve much better than what the Coast Guard is currently offering to them please use the comment section of this blog to ask questions to Shawn Wren,the Coast Guard’s sexual assault prevention and response program manager, and the Coast Guard numerous SARCs and JAGs. The Coast Guard is reading this blog almost continuously. Let hope that they have the integrity to answer questions from survivors.
In the latest rounds of attacks against Coast Guard members that reported rape, a Coast Guard veteran that reported a rape while on Active Duty was barred from entering a Coast Guard base. She was never given a reason why.
HS2 Federico Sanchez first reported to the rape survivor that she was banned. The survivor tried to access the base after receiving an invitation to attend an on-base meeting. HS2 Sanchez was not able to tell the survivor why she was banned, instead, he told her “you know why” while keeping her out in a rainy and cold February in Boston and treated her like a criminal.
Retired Coast Guard members rushed to the survivors’ side, including a retired E-10, to offer her support and guidance on what to do. Several retirees, including a Chief and a CWO also took it upon themselves to help the survivor ban to be overturned but without much success. The survivor and others has since been trying to receive answers on why she was banned from the base and have been given the runaround without anyone really knowing why aside from she reported a rape. Calls made throughout District 1 and BSU Boston to gain insight on why a rape survivor was barred from entering a military installation despite being invited in was unsuccessful. Nobody at the time of publishing this article was willing to take accountability for this victim-blaming act.
MyDutytoSpeak.com was able to find out that the rapist that committed this felony crime against this woman is allowed to go on base as long as he has a sponsor and proper ID.
Reporting a rape should not ban a survivor from entering a Coast Guard base if they are otherwise on an approved guest list for a meeting on base.
The only ‘zero-tolerance’ against sexual assault that the Coast Guard has shown is against those that report rape.
written by MO
Anonymous, United States Coast Guard
I am another survivor that reported a rape and lost her career. I was raped by a BM2 on August 17, 2011. I reported it like they tell you to and was told that I was lying and that it never happened. They ripped up my complaint and ordered me to not speak about it if I want to stay in the Coast Guard. I was not even allowed to have an investigation. I believed them until November 2011 when I was told that there is a medical review board recomandation for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was ordered to write a rebuttal and handed to my Chief an 18-page rebuttal statement stating everything that I went through including the rape. My Chief ripped up my rebuttal statement and told me that for my own protection he can not submit such a rebuttal statement that he found offensive. Instead I was given admin. discharge. Getting the admin discharge instead of the medical discharge I am not eligible to receive any benefits from the Coast Guard.
My rapist is still in and is soon to be promoted to a BM1.
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!
In documents obtained by MyDutytoSpeak.com, Commander Joseph Segalla was caught victim-slandering, slut-shaming and spreading misogynistic lies about a rape survivor. Due to recent media attention on the topic of gaslighting women that report rape in the military this survivor came forward with documentation that proved exactly just that.
In an email sent by Commander Joseph Segalla to several members of the United States Coast Guard Commander Segalla has used and abused his rank to slander a woman and eventually kick her out of service because she reported a rape.
According to Commander Segalla: even though the rape survivor “performed acceptable” he was concerned about “interpersonal relationships” (or in reality A BRUTAL RAPE THAT LEFT THE SURVIVOR BRUISED, BLEEDING AND WITH A BROKEN TOOTH) that he felt that she is no longer should be fit for military service.
Commander Segalla admitted in this email that consideration of putting a rape survivor on MAA force, where Coast Guardsman serve while awaiting Court Martial-two were there waiting trial on child pornography charges. Shame on you Joseph Segalla that it was even considered to put a rape survivor on MAA force with sexual predators.
Joseph Segalla continued with the victim-slandering email by saying that the woman (rape survivor) “does some really strange stuff” but did not elabarate on any speficics-which leaves us to wonder that probably there wasn’t any. Within days of sending this email, the survivor was involuntarily discharged from service (FIRED FOR REPORTING A RAPE) and has since been awarded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs a full disability for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of Military Sexual Trauma.
For his role in kicking out women that reported rape, Commander Joseph Segalla (now retired with a pension) is on the My Duty to Speak Wall of Shame.
We have tried to contact him at his last known phone number in New Canaan, CT but the woman who picked up the phone said that she did not know him after demanding to know who we are. We contacted his sister at a family owned Sand and Gravel shop twice and left a message. He did not return the phone calls at time of publishing.
written by staff member of mydutytospeak.com
Anonymous, United States Coast Guard
I was raped. They investigated and found not enough evidence to prosecute him. I still have to see him everyday. I receive text and phone calls from his wife because she says that I am out to ruin their marriage. I reported his wife but they could not do anything because what she is saying is not criminal.
Everyone else thinks that I am a liar. I lost all the friends and support that I had. I can’t live like this much longer. Why doesn’t the Coast Guard care about rape survivors?