A few years ago I was serving on a cutter in the Coast Guard (I’m at a different unit now). We were at a week-long port call and were moored up at a pier. I was on the mess deck eating lunch with a female coworker on a Monday, and she told me a story.
She said that she was out at a bar with a bunch of other people from the ship and they all got pretty drunk. After coming back to the ship, one of the guys pushed her up against a wall and sexually assaulted her. She couldn’t push him away and had to wait for someone else to walk by and pull him off of her. Another guy walked by and saw it happening, but didn’t do anything because the two of them were friends.
Now, we’re friends. I think of her as like a little sister. I was not happy when I heard this. I knew that I wasn’t thinking clearly because I was angry, so I didn’t do anything and waited until later to talk to someone else. I got her to tell the story to another female that we work with, and I said that my feeling is that we should tell our supervisor and get these two guys in trouble.
The female that it happened to said that she doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it, and just to let it go. The other female said that we should just do whatever the other wants to do with it. Their main thought was that we’re in a job that no one on the ship likes and the other two was thought of as everyone’s friends.
They were afraid that she would get in trouble and everyone would take the guys’ side. As much as I hated to let it, go….they were probably right. We never did anything about it. It still haunts me to this day. I hate seeing bad people go unpunished.