My Duty to Speak

U.S Sailor Gang Raped

Anonymous, United States Navy

On 16 November 2011 I was sitting at the ER at the Dayton VA and this male Veteran approached me and asked me “to go out back and have sex with him”. I said “what”, he said “let’s go out back and fuck”. It brought back all my memories that I had hidden for so many years. I just got up and went back home and took an extra 2 diazepam. I was at the ER for my anxiety in the first place. It brought back so many memories of what happened to me when I was active duty and what happened to my children.

First, it was in June 5th 1982, I was 18, and at my first duty station in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. I lived in the Bundy Barracks and worked for the Navy Exchange, (I ran a mini store at the main barracks). One night a friend named Sara asked me to go to the Seabee Club with her so I went one Saturday night, I remember we were talking to a couple of guys who had bought us a couple of cokes, I believe my coke was drugged because the next thing I remember was being at the bus stop alone the next morning waiting for a bus to be taken back to the Bundy Barracks. I do not remember what happened to Sara. As I was sitting there waiting for the bus I was having vivid memories of different men having sex with me, I did not know who they were or that they even knew me. I do not remember faces; all I could see in my mind was that there were several men. I have no clue as to whom or where I even was the night before or even how I got there.

The vivid memories I now have are of different men’s penises in my mouth and in my vagina at different times throughout the night. I remember I was in such a daze in and out. My body was limp and I remember just lying there with no control over anything I did or was being done to me. I remember being dragged from one bed to another I was completely out of it. I remember being at work the next Monday and this guy came in and told me everything that had happened I did not realize that all that had happened. He told me that at least 25 different guys had sex with me.

I then went to the Naval Hospital and was told that if I was to report it that I would be put out of the Navy because it was destruction of government property and that it was my fault for being at the club. I also became pregnant and was diagnosed with Herpes. I was also transferred from the department to MWR, because I didn’t fit in to the NEX as what I was told.

Second around August of 1982 this one guy wanted to date me, and I was to have sex with him or he would get my friend in trouble (he was base police), I did not want it nor did I like it but I felt coerced into doing it. That had occurred a few times. I was transferred to the gym to work I remember one day I was walking to work (I did not have a car) and these guys drove by me and yelled out hey that is the chick we all fucked that one night, (my pregnancy was showing at this time).

Third time was between November and December 1982; the boss at the gym (***** *****) made me perform oral sex. I went to my Sr. Military Officer and he told me that it was my word against the civilians and no one would believe me, he told me that if I perused it I would lose my career and how would I support my child and myself without the military. So I did not fight for my rights yet again. I then remember I was stationed at Gt. Lakes Naval Hospital, where as I was the administration assistant to a Lt. who was the department head. He and I worked in the same small office. He made sexual advances toward me all the time. Told me I would have great evaluations and he could do a lot for me if I did certain sexually things. I kept telling him no. Because of all the above I have never been in a “real” relationship. I spent most of my time with my children watching movies, playing kids games and doing kid things.

In September 1989, I received orders to Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and I had to leave my children behind until I received base housing. I worked with this Sr. Chief Corpsman for over a year he said he and his wife would take care of them. I paid them $1500.00, took over clothes and dropped my children and their clothes off with them. I came back 35 days later and picked up my kids to find them bruised and balled spots on their heads. Took them to a friend’s house (Dental Tech Chief), I put my kids in the bath and they had bruises all over them and cigar burns on their bottoms, I then took my kids to the Naval Hospital to get pictures taken and contacted NIS.

There were reports done, my girls ages 6 and 3 were both sexually abused and my 2 year old son was also. It took me 6 months to get my son to sleep on a bed and use a blanket and pillow. He would crawl in a corner and scream instead of going to sleep. November 1989 I started going to the Naval Hospital Mental Health Department and started medication for Depression and anxiety, due to the sexual, physical, emotional abuse my children suffered. My children were beat with a wooden spoon; my youngest two had bald spots all over their heads. My middle daughter was made to eat like a dog on the floor; she was also thrown down concrete stairs and hit a concrete wall at the bottom of the stairs with no medical attention and has caused brain damage. My middle daughter had gone through many tests when she was 4, for brain damage and she was place on ritalin at age 4, and diagnosed as Mental Retarded at age 9 and Borderline Personality Disorder at age 18. She has been so hard to deal with her behavior has been so out of control several times I have had to call the police but they told me since she is not being abused there is nothing that they can do. I did all that I could do that I had to give up guardianship a few years ago because I could not handle it any more. She is 27 and still requires 24/7/365 care.

Since I got out of the Navy, in 1992, I have been homeless 5 times and have moved 13 times because I don’t feel comfortable where I was living. I’ve had at least 16 jobs since I have been out of the Navy. I have not ever worked in the field of social work, which I have my degree in.

My Duty to Speak

Coast Guard Alaska Petty Officer charged with sexually abusing 4 year old.

Coast Guard PO2 John R. Blackman Jr has been charged with sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy. According to the Peninsula Clarion, Soldotna Police officers investigated the allegations of abuse after receiving a March 4 call from the child’s mother.

The child was taken to a registered sexual assault nurse examiner in Kenai who indicated the injuries were severe and would require follow up from a medical doctor, according to court records.

Petty Officer John R. Blackman Jr  duties on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory has not been affected. Defense attorney Andy Pevehouse even submitted a request for bail modification asking the court to permit Blackman to leave the state of Alaska if he is aboard a U.S. Coast Guard vessel.

Even though we wholeheartedly believe that one is innocent until proven guilty, precautions should be made for the safety, morale and well being of his fellow shipmates. Petty Officer Blackman should be suspended until the case is resolved, and fired if found guilty.

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting its own investigation. We hope that they don’t resort to blaming the child, once again.
My Duty to Speak

Child of an airman raped by active duty member.

Aimee, United States Air Force

I am not sure if I am included in this exact space, as I am not active or former active duty military. But I have been raped by active duty members twice.

The first time, I was eight years old. My dad was in the Air Force and we were stationed overseas. It was a friend (or at least co-worker) of my dad who was babysitting me and my younger brother. He raped me in the shower, a blur of pain and blinding water. I mostly remember laying there while the water turned cold, staring at my reflection in the faucet. This is a case that probably could have been successfully prosecuted because of my age, but I was too lacking in the ability to cope or acknowledge what had happened to me. I didn’t understand, and my parents never noticed anything being wrong with me. I later learned what it was that happened to me, and it only made me more afraid of anyone finding out.

The second time I was 15, living in Colorado after my dad left the military. I was visiting a friend in Colorado Springs and while at a mall we met some men in the Army. I was uncomfortable with them flirting with us, but she was very flirty and I didn’t think it would be a big deal since it was just the mall. She saw some friends and walked away in an argument for a short time. While we were separated, one of the army men raped me in his car. He left for Iraq the next morning and I didn’t know anything about him. I felt like I would be blamed, and again couldn’t deal with the idea of people examining me or questioning me. I hadn’t dealt with the first rape yet, and this one made it much worse. I wish I had said something, even if it ended futilely. What if he raped again while in Iraq?

I have a lot of regrets about how I never came forward about this. Now I’m 24, and I am married to someone in the Air Force. We live overseas and I have been extremely hesitant about leaving our house or making friends because of this fear of being attacked by military men. I love my husband, and the military was the best option for him – and us as a family – but sometimes I am completely overwhelmed by social anxiety.

I wrote this for the site, despite hesitation over whether it applies, because the problem the military has with sexual assault extends beyond those in the service. I have never had to deal with the pain of being silenced by superiors and forced to work with the perpetrator, so my story is different. I am another product of the rape culture the military protects. I am recently trying to get involved with being an Advocate on the base I live at. My husband thinks it will be too much for me to handle, but I want to start helping in a direct way. I have met many military women who have been victims, and men and women who advocate for them are my heroes.

My Duty to Speak

Coast Guard blames children victims, age 8 and 10, for sexual abuse.

Denise L, Abused by a member of the United States Coast Guard

A year ago today my father died.  My father served in the Coast Guard for 30 years and received an Honorable Discharge and a generous pension. I am a Coast Guard brat. My father was also a pedophile. My sister and I was molested by our father who was at the time a Chief in the Coast Guard. I was 10 years old and my sister was 8 when we finally reported the abuse to my mom who in turn reported it to civilian authorities. With the help of dolls the policewoman in town took down our testimonies and arrested my dad for questioning. Coast Guard took over the case and made my sister and I go into the painful details of the abuse once again, this time without the help of the dolls. I remember the Coast Guard asking me if my mom put me up to saying this and to stop “playing pretend” because it can get my father in trouble. Coast Guard concluded that my sister and I were just looking for attention.

Our mother took us out of state to live with my maternal grandparents while filing for divorce. My father after being issued divorce papers he came looking for us armed with a Coast Guard-issued gun. My mother requested a restraining order but was told that since my father was a member of the Coast Guard that it must done through the Coast Guard channels. The Coast Guard refused to issue us a military protective order. As a result we ended up moving again and a total of 12 times until I was 18 and went off to college.

I was an avid soccer player for my college and newspapers and a google search on my name all comes up with information about my college and my team. One day my father arrived on campus with a Coast Guard issued weapon and threatened me to tell me where my mom is. The campus police arrested him and handed him over to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard chose not to punish him. Thirty years of service in the Coast Guard, two arrests including an arrest for child sexual abuse and the Coast Guard still handed him an Honorable Discharge, bumped up his rank and gave him a pension.

What sick organization is the Coast Guard for telling children that they are at fault for sexual abuse? It is more than just a few rotten apples.  So many people were involved in protecting my father. In my eyes they are all at fault and should be investigated and punished.

I wrote dozens of letters to the Coast Guard and after a year they finally responded by saying that they did nothing wrong and that it was the fault of my sister and I. We were age 8 and 10.