My Duty to Speak

Airman assaulted by 2 chaplains-United States Air Force

Terri Starkey, United States Air Force

I was sitting here, as memories of the sexual trauma, come to mind. It is hard at times. I was assaulted by 2 chaplains, counselor, and harassed by my boss. So, I wrote this poem, that deals with this issue. I stood there, hand to My heart, reciting These words, I will protect, This Country, from All foes, enemies Etc.. Did I expect, the Ultimate traumas, NO Naive, trusting I just wanted to Be part of A team, not A nightmare. I was taught, we Were to watch, each Others back, not to fear our own comrades

My Duty to Speak

Rape at District 1 Coast Guard

We received this as a comment. Felt that it should be it own post:


I have a friend who reported an assault against an YN1 in Maine. It went up to a court martial where he was found guilty of lesser charges. A Captain and a CWO were extremely angry at her for ratting out a “man of great honor” and she was advised that the only way to keep her job is to get pregnant and go on leave. By the time she comes back many who were angry at her for blowing the whistle would be retired or transferred out. She did just that and had her 2nd kid to save her career.

When she was on leave the rumors spread like wildfire even wondering if the kid belongs to her husband or if she slept around to ruin yet another man’s career.

When I was raped at a holiday party the first thing that I did was go to the hospital. At the hospital there was a woman from a rape crisis center here in Maine. She advised me to call the Military Rape Crisis Center and talk to them before I speak to the Coast Guard. She did not know much about the UCMJ and highly recommended MRCC. I called them the next day and Abby went over my options.

I spoken to the woman who was advised to have the child and she recommended that I do not report it. Abby gave me the option and told me to do what is best for me. I wrote down all that happened and with the rape kit I can delay reporting it to the Coast Guard. Speaking to Abby alone is sufficient evidence needed if I want to file for compensation.

I am in therapy now and am happy that I can heal without being told by my shipmates that I deserved it or that I am lying or that I should have a kid to save my career. I can heal without the added stress of fighting for my career. Once I process my rape and am emotionally ready to report it I’ll be reporting it.

I am replacing the phone number of the SARCs to the military rape crisis center 24 hours hotline. I do not think there is a woman at district 1 who would report it to the coast guard before going through mrcc. They did well outreaching here and are making their way to the other districts.

The reason why you receive so many from district 1 is because we know who to go to first instead of blindly going straight to the Coast Guard. Thank you for being there.

My Duty to Speak

Son finds out father was raped in the Navy.

Dan Cole, son of a United States Navy sailor

I came across this website when I was doing research on rape in the Navy. My father served in the Navy from 1946-1958. I was watching the news with my mother and a young woman was being interviewed about a rape in the Navy. My mother said “your father had to go through that too when he was in the Navy”. He never told any of the kids.  She did not go into details and I did not dare ask. He passed away in 1999. I felt horrible for never knowing. Reading the stories on here gives me a glimpse of what he may had went through. I support everyone that is sharing their stories on here.  God bless you all.

My Duty to Speak

Coast Guard rape survivor express how much it hurts.

I was raped in the Coast Guard. I already shared my story on here but want to talk about how I am feeling now, this very moment. I had a flashback of my rape. Felt him on me again, ripping my clothes off and raping me. I grounded myself and was able to get back into what I called “reality” and tears were rolling down my eyes.

I come home from work roughly 3 hours before my husband did. My plan for the evening was to have a snack of a fruit or something and then head over to yoga class. Instead I had this flashback of my rape and felt so scared of even leaving the house.  I walked over to the bedroom and laid down on my bed, beneath the comforter and laid there crying because of what the Coast Guard did to me.

My husband came home, hugged me, talked to me and tried to calm me down. I took my medication (Valium) that was prescribed by the VA for moments just like this. It helped a little. I took a shower to rid of all the dirtiness that I feel by thinking that he was on me. I was able to get on the computer and write this post.

I feel nausea , my heart feels like its beating a billion times a minute. I am shaking. I am scared.

I miss my old life, my pre-Coast Guard life. I lived a pretty sheltered life. Growing up I had the ideal childhood, raised in an affluent family home, with one parent that was able to stay home to take care of the kids. I was sheltered from trauma, lost, and pain.I was happy, bubbly and always talkative. I was full of ambition and hope.

After the rape I am nothing more than an emotional mess. I cry everyday. My hopes and dreams for the future are non existence. The only job that I ever wanted was to be a member of the Coast Guard. I am doing well at my civilian job but it’s not the Coast Guard. I have my own office which I decorated from top to bottom in Coast Guard paraphernalia. I even have the Semper Paratus the Coast Guard ringtone on my phone. Surrounding myself with everything Coast Guard is just my way of not being ready to let go of my lost career and my innocence..

The Coast Guard felt that my rape was a false allegations. My rapist was never charged and since forever I have heard various rumors about where or what he may be doing now. I don’t know what is true and what is not so I won’t post that on here. What I am going to say is for my ease of mind I want to know where my rapist is. Right now I am always on alert when I am outside. I don’t know if my rapist is in my city and I could run into him at any time or should I relax a bit because he is living in the other side of the country and I am semi-safe in my city? I tried every possible way to find out where he was, googled him, looked him up on a facebook, I asked mutual shipmates and no body really knows where he is. He kinda just dropped off this earth. Constantly looking over your shoulder is very tiresome.

Recently I have called a Coast Guard recruiter and he denied my ability to re-enlist because I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a whole range of physical injuries and chronic physical pain that resulted from the rape or being beaten. I am a mess because of the rape that the Coast Guard decided was a false accusation.

It hurts so much. I want to get better. I think I am going to go back and hide in bed. Tomorrow I hope to be a better day.


My Duty to Speak

Coast Guard District 1 is failing sexual assault and rape survivors.

From January 1st to July 31st of this year, 217  Active duty Coast Guards members from District 1 received some sort of assistance from the Military Rape Crisis Center as opposed to two from District 17. The range of services provided to these members range from anything from help filing a VA claim for a woman that is leaving the Coast Guard all the way up to a woman receiving alleged death threats.

District 1 is also the only district in the Coast Guard that ever received any complaints from veterans who been sexually assaulted or raped. Members from district 1 continue to abuse survivors of military sexual trauma even after they leave the service. One veteran from Boston was forbidden to enter the base because she reported a rape.  In another incident a Master Chief Petty Officer went on an on-line victim-slandering rant against a rape survivor.

Last year we even found a woman who was Active Duty in the Coast Guard sleeping in the lobby of our office building. She felt unsafe sleeping on base and made her way to Cambridge and slept in our lobby that night. For over 4 months she lived in a domestic violence shelter because the Coast Guard failed to give her accurate and safe housing or BAH for housing off base.

There have been numerous failed attempts to meet with both Shawn Wren, the Coast Guard Sexual Assault Program Manager, and the District One SARC to discuss ways to improve what has now been determined to be a failing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response department. We have met with or spoken to members and Victim Advocates from various districts in the Coast Guard expect for district 1.

We’ll like to know what is going on with District one of the Coast Guard. Why do the majority of the 217 men and women that came forward in just the past 7 months feel that they are being failed by the system that should be  protecting them?

Melissa O’Brien
Director of Military Rape Crisis Center-Northeast

My Duty to Speak

Coast Guard petty officer murdered, blamed

In 2008 a woman in the Coast Guard was murdered by a civilian. The police said that it was a random act of violence and caught the man that did it. Those who served with her in the Coast Guard were determined to prove that the woman was at fault for what happened.

She had a reputation in the Coast Guard as being a party girl and “sleeping around” so when news first came out that she was murdered after a night of drinking everyone concluded that she must have “met the man at the bar, brought him home where he murdered her” and they continued to say that it was her fault for doing something so stupid. They said if only she learned to close her legs that she probably would have still been alive. They said that she was a whore that only got what was inevitable.

The civilian police said that she was followed home and murdered. That they believe that she had no prior communication with that man. We were watching the news on the mess deck and one petty officer went on top of his chair as we were all eating and said something like: “That bitch deserved it. Whores get what they deserve.”

Here we have a woman who was murdered and they all found it to be a joke.

When I came to the defense of the woman then my sexuality came into question. They felt that since I defended her that I must have slept with her, mind you that I am a female, and that they are not surprised because she is “freaky like that.” I told them that I did not sleep with her. Some of the men at the station probably slept with all the women in the city. Every day off they go to the bar, use their Coast Guard status and try to get laid-we were in Texas so it worked well there. When I tried to compare what that woman may or may not have done to what they are doing and to stop with the double standards they  called me a feminazi and told to ignore me.

In front of the media and to their family they were like totally different people. One person wrote on her facebook memorial wall what a wonderful person that she was and be missed and then shut off the computer and said the usual “that whore got what she deserved.”

Nobody deserves to be murdered even if they brought a man home from the bar.

If these men were willing to do and say this to a woman who was brutally murdered for no fault of her own (as if being murdered is ever the victim’s fault) then what do you think that they would say to a woman who survived a rape?

Stop blaming the victim.