My Duty to Speak

don’t know why it happened

*taken directly from the journal of a rape survivor who chose to share this with us*

My Duty to Speak

Coast Guard rape in 2009

CA, United States Coast Guard

There are two things that I want to point out. First is that no matter what, no matter how much evidence that you have you are going to be viewed as a liar. The second fact is that women, especially women in the Coast Guard will do whatever they can to  kick a fellow woman who is already down. Women has been the most viscous including holding me down and literally kicking me.  This is my story.

I was 18 years old when I reported a rape to the Chief. It was September 2009 when a shipmate entered my room at night and raped me. I told the Executive Officer who was a Chief what happened and he said that he’ll speak to the alleged rapist. That was it. I asked for an update and it was always “we are investigating” but they never followed up. They switched our duty sessions and I only saw the rapist on my off going duty days. He always gave me a smirk cause he knew what he was getting away with.

The rape made the rounds at the station and I was viewed as having cried rape. The women at the station took it upon themselves to decide that my allegations was false. It did not help that the according to the Chief it was not serious enough to bring in CGI for a formal investigation. They wrote up statements on the side of the rapist on how much of a role model that he was to them. How they can not imagine him doing what I was alleging.  One day they cornered me into a wall and took turns punching me and kicking me calling me crazy for having cried rape.

I was not aware that for the next 8 months the Chief was putting together a packet of documents showing why he felt that I was not fit to be in the Coast Guard. In this packet which I was able to receive through a request for my service records he said that I am crazy. I am a compulsive liar. That I do not know my role as a non-rate. That I give people “crazy looks” and that I am “legally insane”.  Legally insane? Great job of a diagnoses. Do they teach you psychological diagnoses at Boatswain mate A-school? I thought not. One day out of the blue I was called into Chief’s office and told of my separation from service. I was to sign my DD-214 right then and there. What was most troublesome was the fabricated rebuttal statement on a medical board review that I was never informed about. In this statement somebody pretending to be me confessed about lying about the rape.

I was separated for reasons of personality disorder.

I am still be harassed by the women that I was stationed with. I had to delete my facebook account. They also tracked down my husband and started to harass him. I am in weekly therapy at the VA for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and attend two support groups. I am rated at 100%IU for reasons of Military Sexual Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder meaning that I can not work. I get nightmares of being back at the station each night.

The Congress tried to investigate my case but the Coast Guard came back and said that there were no record of me even being rape. The only rape mentioned that they could find was me “confessing” to lying about being raped. The Coast Guard continued to say that they take rape very seriously and that they always do what they feel is best for the survivor.

Coast Guard, My Duty to Speak

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!!!