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.

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

Ashamed to have served-Domestic abuse in the United States Coast Guard.

Ashamed to have served, United States Coast Guard

Googling abused by the Coast Guard upon its members, I found this web site. No I wasn’t sexually abused, but I witnessed domestic violence by one officer (male) upon another (female) and when she went to report it the Coast Guard tried to commit her to a psychiatric institution. What happened to me was not sexual in nature, but cried out for justice nonetheless.

I served in the New Orleans area for six years in active and reserve capacities. In 1992 I was injured by a drunk driver while in my POV and under orders. I was threatened with Courts Martial if and to quote “I rocked the boat”. a year later, I was injured in another accident while in the course of my civilian employment. I notified the Chain of Command in the CG. Without notice, I was “stuck in the IRR (individual ready reserve) and denied my rights to promotion to PS1, to keep my SGLI. I was threatened by a commissioned officer. In 1996 I was finally discharged.

It took a while but I was finally able to come to terms about the crappy way I was treated. I was’nt a slaker, I earned the CG Achievement MEdal as an E4, Eanrned Two Commandant’s LOC’s, a few COPT letter of commendation. In 1998 I was a victim of domestic battery, Yes I happen to us guys too! I called the local cops and I ended up going to jail – Why? Because In my former civilian job, I was Chief of Internal Affairs for a local police agency. She lied about everything, including making false sworn stastements that ALL my USCG awards, etc… were fake and that I had misused a expired reserve id card that was superglued in my shadow box. The Coast Guard actually attempted to charge me with Impersonating a Federal Officer. If I hadn’t been able to afford my own lawyer, only God knows what might have happened. Eventually my ex, in court admitted she lied. My lawyer sent the Coast Guard CGI her sworn statement, and they still tried to prosecute me. I was out of over $7,000 in legal fees, and lost all pride I ever had regarding my service in the Coast Guard. Yes I’m still trying to get justice, but in this country it’s liberty & justice for all that can afford it.

All I want is an apology and my insurance and lost promotion. will I get it, probably not, even through I’ve enlisted the help of the Church – all they care about is money too. My heart goes out to each and every one of you gals & guys alike who got the shaft. Too bad the late US Senator Byrd of Werst Virginia died. He was actually trying to disband the Coast Guard. And for good Reason. Lastly, I’m working on formalizing my dual citizenship in a european country. In my will I have strict instructions for my wife to refuse the flag for my coffin and to very unpolitely explain why! God Bless All of You!