We have an international training program at the Coast Guard Academy where we allow foreign cadets to study with us. I was onboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle with a cadet that joined us from Northern Africa. For most of the time on the Eagle I had to put up with his sexual harassment that included being groped, sexual comments, whistling as I passed by and an attempted rape. I was able to fight him off.
They tell you to report all cases of abuse. They drill in us that there is a zero-tolerance policy and support if and when we ever need it. When I took them up for their offer for help I was not helped. I was told that for foreign relation purposes that it’ll be in the best interest of the Coast Guard to not allow it to ruin his tour. I was told by the so-called “support” that it was culturally acceptable in Islam culture to sexually harass women. In her exact words that repeat in my head to this day was: “In his country women have to cover their entire faces and bodies. This is a culture shock to him. Give him some slack.” They did not investigate my allegations.