Coast Guard Captain calls rape survivor “liar” and “nut case”.

Anonymous, United States Coast Guard

I am in desperate need for some help. I reported my rape and it went nowhere. I was told that there were not enough creditable evidence to bring this case to trial. They have separated the two of us and I am safe from him. My problem is since my allegations came back as not having enough creditable evidence to bring the case to trial I am being viewed as a liar. I am called a nut case and a liar every single day often by CWO and  a Captain.

Yes, I made some mistakes that I am beating myself up for such as not going immediately to the hospital and waiting some time before reporting it. I was scared. According to the CWO and the Captain the reason why I took so long to report it was because I was making a plan to lie. I did NOT lie. I can’t stress that enough. After the rape my rapist told me that if I told anyone that he’ll kill me. It was not until I felt suicidal and that I no longer could keep it in that I finally told somebody. I did not expect the allegation to go anywhere when I did report it but I needed help and needed to get away from him. It went unrestricted because I told some friends that are also in the Coast Guard wanting their advice on what I should do and support to help me report it. Since I told people it automatically because unrestricted and they had to investigate it.

I requested some time off from my Chief so that I can attend a counseling session in town. He told me that he doesn’t know why I still go to counseling since it was determined that it was a false allegation. He forbid me time off to attend counseling.

I am an E-3. How can I stop the bullying from those much higher ranking than me? They are slandering my name, tearing me apart and everyone believes them over me because of their rank and position with the Coast Guard.

This is much worst than even the rape. Can someone offer me some advice?

17 thoughts on “Coast Guard Captain calls rape survivor “liar” and “nut case”.

  1. Everyone that talks about rape in the Coast Guard even those who might only speak about it because they were indeed raped are viewed as liar and a “nut case”. I was called “crazy” and a “liar” by a Coast Guard Captain (Peter DeCola out of Base Boston) and told that he “remembered me from the service and that I was a little slut that should have learned to keep her legs closed” all because I am a victim advocate at a rape crisis center that works a lot with coast guard rape survivors.

    Did I mention that I never served in the Coast Guard? Yep, so not sure exactly what he meant by his comments but it sure shows the rape culture in the Coast Guard.

  2. Hi, Anonymous Coastie:

    I am a mother of a MST USMC survivor in California. This is a very common experience that many active duty MST victims experience. My advice is to contact your Coast Guard chaplain who is the non-partial ally and relate to him or her what you are now experiencing. He or She will accompany you to whomever you need to see.

    In addition, I do know if you are update to the latest actions taken by the President or the Pentagon on the issue of MST. President just directed to provide suicide prevention services within 24 hours. You can contact Military One Source via telephone or website and disclose your situation. Also I would suggest for you to contact the following group on Facebook: MST Recovery Network of the Bay Area. This group was co-founded by two MST survivors, one being my daughter. They can direct and/or advise you what other resources or people to assist with your situation.

    Remember you are not alone.. You now need emotional support from your fellow MST sisters.

    I hope that I am helpful. Please let me know if you have been helped. I will provide you a telephone numbers if you need them.

  3. This is very common. Play them at their own game:

    As much as we all know how common all of this is if they feel that no prosecution=Lying then I guess not being charged for false allegations=not lying.

    If she was lying she would have been charged with false allegations.

  4. Dear Sister,
    Keep going higher until you get someone to listen to you. It took three tries for the VA to grant my PTSD disability due to MST and I’ve been out for over 30 years now. Don’t let some prick with a dick ruin your life. Keep talking to everyone who will listen. Schedule doctor’s appointments and keep them. Don’t let what happened to you cost you the rest of your life. STD’s up to and including HPV are silent killers of women. I hope you yell as loudly as possible. Praying for you!

  5. I know how bad that it feels. What you are describing is actually very common. The Captain and the Warrant both are very misogyny and anti-Coast Guard, hateful people. Nobody that loves the Coast Guard is going to call anyone in it a liar or crazy. They are making themselves look bad and people know that.

    The majority people in this country are against rape. Most people want to see rapists in prison and not out in the streets. Those that do side with the rapists are usually rapists themselves. I am not saying that the Captain or the Warrant are rapist but they most certainly have something to hide that with your allegations you have tried to bring up.

    I do believe you. I think everyone on here does. I hope you continue with counseling and if your Chief gives you problems talk to your victim advocate. VAs are there to help you get the help that you need. If they are not doing their job please let me know.

    Aside from them please realize how common that this all is. It does not make it better but know that it is not you personally that they are attacking. Some people would go to any length to cover up their own bad behavior.

    Stay strong. You have support. You are believed.

  6. Dear E,3 I am so sorry that you are going through this. Unfortunately, this is not such an uncommon event. I wish I had some advice for you, but really I just want to let you know I feel your pain. I was drugged and gang raped by 5 of my fellow Marines when I was an E,3. When I reported it,I was threatened with buyer martial. I dropped out because I was scared. That is what I regret. Don’t give up! Yell it to the president if you have to.

  7. It saddens me to hear that this is still going on in the Coast Guard. I got out of the Coast Guard partly because I was fed up with all the bad leadership which includes how I witnessed rape victims being treated. We had one woman being transferred to my unit because of rape. Keep in mind that she just then reported the rape. CGI have yet investigated, nobody knew details of the rape or even who she was accusing of rape. She was being transferred from her small boat station in District 1 to ISC Boston which is now the infamous Base Boston.

    While she was enroute to ISC Boston we were all given a warning to stay away from her because she is “crazy” and a “liar”. We were told not to talk to her or be friends with because we did not want to find ourselves in a situation where she will have accused us of rape. The only time we were encouraged to speak to her was if we were verbally abusing her. I was young and fell for those warnings.

    When I did talk to her it was always small talk such as about the weather or how she is doing. I always made sure that somebody else was there as a precaution. Looking back I was such a horrible human being for treating this woman like she was nothing more than someone that would cry rape against any man that looked her way. It was what we were taught and who was I to question a Captain?

    It was not until I witnessed a sexual assault against her by men that sounds to me were friends with her rapist. I tried to get her the help that she needed but was shrug off by everyone and eventually threatened with my career if I tried to help this woman.

    It was not until after I left the Coast Guard on voluntary terms that I realized how badly she was treated. I finally were able to talk to her and after just one conversation with her did I realize that she was not lying. We were encouraged to call her crazy and a liar. Even though I did not do it I feel horrible for not helping her by telling others to stop.

    The Coast Guard encourages us to call rape victims all sorts of names as punishment for them that came forward to report an assault. It was mainstream CG culture, calling us in that meeting before she even arrived to tell us that she is a horrible person that cried rape. The Coast Guard encouraged us to stay away from her unless we were to tell her how much she sucked. It was clearly forbidden to offer any assistance and if we were to be on her side we would be threatened with our own careers.

    I admire those that are actively working to fix the Coast Guard (Panayiota and Kelli are two of my role models) but in all honesty I think that as much as P&K are doing and want to change the Coast Guard for the better I personally believe that it is a lost cause. The Coast Guard is way too deep in a hole to pull themselves out of this one.

    I feel that the only solution is to disembarked the Coast Guard. Distribute the Coast Guard’s responsibility among the Navy, other government law enforcement agencies and private companies. There are way too many rapes in the Coast Guard to ever get its prestige back.

    We could replace the Captains and CWOs but replace them with who? People that spent the past 20 years of their careers witnessing rape survivors being abused? What says that they are going to break the cycle. It is sad because I have seen many low ranking enlisted men and women that have what it takes to change the Coast Guard if they were to stay in and advance but sadly all the good guys leave because they get fed up by the bad leadership. The only ones who stay are those that can’t get a job elsewhere. The high school bullies so to speak that are raising themselves up the ranks bringing with them the same mentality that they had when they were bullies in high school.

    The Coast Guard is broken.

    Semper Paratus,
    John Cannon

  8. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Along with the chaplain, call eap (I can’t remember what it just changed too). also call the sexual assualt response coordinator in your area, they can guide you too. What your command is doing is definitely against where the Coast Guard is trying to go with response to sexual assault victims. Keep going and keep shouting!

  9. This woman is sacrificing herself so she can fight for our fundamental rights. This is the thank you that her CWO and Captain are giving her? I hate anti-Coast Guard people that abusing our coast guard men and women that are reporting rape. Captain and CWO you should be ashamed of yourself.

  10. Congresswoman Speier from California has been an advocate for women when it comes to sexual assault. Find her on the internet and write to her. She has an email on her website. I think you need to go outside the miltary. She is working closely on this same issue of sexual assault in the military. Find her you tube videos on sexual assault. You are not to blame for what happened to you. Do not give up. please

  11. Can Shawn Wren the Sexual Assault Program Manager for the CG do anything? It sounds to me that she needs to step in to this unit and provide some additional training. Oh wait, she does not return phone calls. Not from survivors, not from service providers and not from victims advocates. Her number is 202-475-5163. Try to get help for this survivor or others. Dozens of people tried calling her already. No luck.

  12. 99.999999999999% of all rape cases in the Coast Guard are handled like yours. I do not know of any Coast Guard rape victim that was told that everyone believed her and that she did not do anything wrong. There might be one out there but personally I haven’t met them.

    Hang in there. Everyone in America that pays attention knows how badly the Coast Guard treats it rape victims. Sadly though most care about Keeping up with the Kardashians than about our CG members being raped.

    When was the last time you heard of a person being sent to prison for raping someone in the Coast Guard? Why are we letting these men get off so easily for assaulting a military member?

    1. Have your parents get a hold of the congressman in your state immediately! Make sure they keep calling & following up. Don’t back down. This is at epidemic proportions especially in the Coast Guard and needs to end.

  13. Hello Shipmate,

    If your chain of command is not acting, go directly to Coast Guard Investigative Services… I was the victim of severe harassment in bootcamp and made my report directly to CGIS.You are not alone. Not only should the person that assaulted you be punished, but so should your command. There are many of us who have fought this fight and are in it together. CGIS main number is (202) 493-6600… We will never make changes if we don’t stand up for ourselves. Stay strong!

  14. Dear Little Coastie Sister (I have a lot of those now it seems!),

    What you are enduring is BS. Your Chief is a moron and a disgrace to the Coast Guard. He cannot prevent you from attending counseling for sexual trauma. The stigma of being called a liar and the bullying of that kind of treatment is typical. It’s WRONG, but typical. It’s much, much cheaper to force you to get out, regardless of the damage done to you, than it is to support you. Sick, huh? I’m sure your perpetrator was senior to you and, even though you are separated from him, they have more “invested” in him than you (as an E3). You’re not disposable OR worthless. You do not deserve the treatment you are receiving. I will come right out and say that the worst thing about Boatswain’s Mates (assuming that your Chief is one) is Boatswain’s Mates. I can say this because I am one. I’m just one of the rare compassionate ones. The same can be said for many in the Engineering rate as well. Sorry to my MK and BM friends…. it just seems like the main group of misongynistic morons in the Coast Guard happen to be of either rate.

    Panayiota’s post above was right on (as she always is!). You are NOT alone. Regardless of what happens in your career, try to take moments out of every day and remember there are sooooooooo many sisters (and brothers!) out there that believe you and believe IN you. I know sometimes that may not seem like anything… but on the days when you are the most hurt, remember that there is more than a spark of reason to continue. You matter. You matter to us. You matter IN THE COAST GUARD (regardless of what assholes say or do!). You matter in the Universe. They can take a lot of things away from you, but don’t ever, ever doubt that you matter.

    The post that John Cannon wrote… wow… He brought me to tears. See? He is a brother Coastie who supports you and doesn’t even know you. He’s seen it. He knows. It’s real to him and unacceptable. He spoke in support of you. (John, if you read this… Thank you).

    Lisa wrote about contacting your Congress person. That is a good idea as well. No matter what, keep notes. Keep a journal, document everything and remember you are not a POS. Your Chief is!

    You are not alone. You matter. Remember that.


    Your Big Sister, BM1 Elsa Nethercot (USCG, Retired)

  15. Talk to your district Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Coordinator, if you are being abused by your supervisors, ask to be moved

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s