This petition closed 2 months ago
I enlisted in the U.S Coast Guard with dreams of becoming a Marine Science Technician. However my dream was ended when I was brutally raped by a fellow shipmate. I followed the Coast Guard procedures and reported the rape to my command but instead of helping me get treatment for my injuries and justice for the rape I was forced to continue working side by side with rapist for over a month. My rapist remained a constant threat and I was very scared. My command allowed and often contributed to further assault and harassment towards me. One such incident happened in the middle of a work day on base in which I was cornered by a group of Coast Guardsmen that threatened to rape me as a form of retaliation for "snitching on their friend".
My career came to an end as soon as I reported the rape. Due to an active investigation I was forbidden to add my name to an A-school list that will have given me the training to advance in my career. Despite my rapist confessing to the rape he was never prosecuted and in lieu of a hearing he was given an Honorable Discharge. I lost my Coast Guard career for reasons of Adjustment Disorder. - I was told that I was having difficulties adjusting to being raped.
The United States Coast Guard, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, is the only military branch that does not have the same protection to rape survivors that is provided by the Department of Defense.
Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard does not report on the amount of men and women that are raped when in service. When a rape does occur separation of some kind should take place immediately that prevents the victim from working with the rapist in any space. Support and advocacy for the victim should be executed immediately by trained professionals within the U.S. Coast Guard.
What I went through is not unique. An estimate of as many as one in three women will be victims of sexual assault and rape. I want the United States Coast Guard to protect members within its organizations from falling victim of sexual assault and/or rape and to help survivors like myself that bravely came forward to report rape.