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….http://militaryrapecrisiscenter.org/2010/04/27/problems-with-getting-help/ 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.