Feminist in Combat Boots

I took an Oath to protect the Constitution. Now here are my Constitutional rights. Written by Isabella Francis Mazotti

Monthly Archives: February 2011

Blamed a woman for being raped? Don’t work on campus

According to the VICTIMS, yes more than one, Scott Keene has under his time in the United States Coast Guard has promoted a culture that was misogynstic and often forced out women for reporting a rape. One victim has dozens of documents from Scott Keene stating that because she was raped that she no longer can serve in the United States Coast Guard. Another victim, with connections at Coast Guard headquarters were allowed to fight Scott Keene and keep her career and recently retired as a Chief Warrant Officer.
I do not feel that a man who did that should be working in an institution that has their own problems with rape and sexual assault in which survivors felt that the university did not take their allegations seriously should hire someone who is well-known to cover up and ignore rape allegations during his years working in the military. In the case regarding the latest (known) victim, the victim has dozens of copies of emails and official Coast Guard documents proving that he allowed under his command a culture that further abuse and victimize women that came forward with rape.

This is the email from Boston University. This is the patriarchy system that we need to fight. This email below is why I am writing this post and why I am dedicating all my time to ensure that students at Boston University are safe. Scott Keene may be in the finance department but he may or may not have connections, friendships and talk to others in departments that have a say in how a rape case is handled. The email has shown, to me, that without even requesting further evidence including the official documents that at least one victim is willing to make public that Larry Elswit by automatically dismissing our case.

If Boston University does not like what I say they have two options: They can sue me or they can work with me and the survivors to improve Boston University and take all who been involved in rape or victimization of rape victims removed from their campus regardless if they are a janitor or a Director. Boston University does not need them.  Protect your student or sue me. Your choice.

 

Good morning Isabella –
I am writing in response to your February 21 note, in which you claim that “Boston University put it[s] female students in danger” and that a University employee has “been involved in covering up multiple assaults throughout his Coast Guard career…” Your first allegation is false, and we have found no evidence to suggest there is any basis for your second claim.
Boston University treats allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault very seriously, and does not tolerate any form of misconduct based upon gender. There is no evidence to suggest that the University has knowingly hired any employee who might place our students, or our female employees, in danger. We can all empathize with the victims of sexual assault and their families, whether in the Armed Forces or on campus. This institution is extremely pro-active in its efforts to assure that all our students live, learn, and mature in a safe environment. To suggest otherwise, as you have done, is both unfair and untrue, since you do not have facts to suggest that BU in any way behaved improperly, or turned a blind eye to any employee’s past. I strongly discourage you from making any such suggestions in the future. We will not tolerate any false, unfounded claims that cause damage to the University’s reputation.
If you know how to reach ***** ***, I would be grateful if you pass this note to her. She also wrote about the University in this context and I have tried, unsuccessfully, to reach her.
With best regards,
Larry Elswit
__________
Larry Elswit
Associate General Counsel
Boston University
Office of the General Counsel
125 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
617/353-2326 (phone)
617/353-5529 (fax)

 

Military Sexual Trauma lawsuit–the day after.

By Isabella Mazotti

Imagine if you were the CEO of a large company and a lawsuit was just filed against you by one of the nation’s most powerful lawyer on behalf of seventeen former employees. Your former employees claim that they were raped by fellow colleagues while being employed by your company and that their allegations resulted in them being fired while the rapists were still being employed by the company. Every major media in the world from the Washington Post to the China Times made mention of the story detailing first person detail of the rape. All eyes are now on your company waiting for it to respond to the lawsuit and correct it mistakes.

That is exactly what has happened this past Tuesday to the United States Military when seventeen service members filed a lawsuit against Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld for knowingly allowing service members to be raped and further abused after reporting a rape. Less than forty-eight hours later the military responded through their actions.

The day after the lawsuit Maj. Gen. David Quantock of Fort Leonard Wood said: “Young kids make mistakes…But they have to understand that in the Army, those mistakes . . . will not be tolerated.” This sort of mentality is exactly what this lawsuit is trying to change. Rape is just a mistake, admit that you learned from your mistake and we’ll continue to give you a slap on the wrist each time you make this mistake.Rape is NOT a mistake. A rape is not an OOOPS I forced my dick into you. It is a violent act and a felony and should be treated as such.

A rape survivor of the United States Coast Guard been in the long process of joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary, a volunteer, non-paid civilian-based Coast Guard group, finally gathering the strength to join she contacted her local Flotilla weeks ago and was invited to attend their orientation meeting on Wednesday; the day after the lawsuit was filed. The meeting was held on a Coast Guard base. Despite being on the approved list of attendees she was turned away at the gate without reasons why except “you are barred from the base”. Rear Admiral Daniel Neptun of Coast Guard Boston has put an order in to forbid her from going on base. When asked why-the Officer of the Day on duty, Petty Office First Class Sanchez said “you know why.” Actually she does not know why, was it because she reported a rape or was it because she went public with the rape? Either way reporting a rape and using her constitutional rights to speak publicly about her rape doesn’t merit a reason to bar her for attending the event, especially since she had an invite from the CG Auxiliary.

On the Today Show, Dr. Kaye Whitley, spoke proudly of improvements made to the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program including a new on-line chat option called Safe Helpline that gives survivors the chance to talk to “qualified” professionals about military sexual trauma over the Internet. After an hour and a half wait I was finally able to speak to someone.

*note, this is a fictional case used for research purposes.

This is basically what millions of our tax dollars went to just like $250million of our tax dollars went to a janitorial firm in Alaska to develop a global campaign to prevent sexual assault and harassment in the military. Dr. Kaye Whitley just does not get it.

Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell said in a statement that sexual assault is a wider societal problem and Mr Gates has been working to ensure the military is doing all it can to prevent and respond to it as a “command priority”. Command priority and yet rape victims are left out of attending events on a military base that they been invited to and high ranking military officers calling rape a ‘mistake’ instead of a violent crime. This is the military twenty-four hours the lawsuit, the military that is putting their best foot forward as the world is now watching. This is the best that the military at this point and time has to offer and their best is not acceptable.

Complaints against a SARC makes a SARC unjustly awarded the Best SARC of the year award-the story of Lt. Lori A. Alix

We have received copies of emails from a Massachusetts National Guardsman who was raped. Lt. Lori A. Alix, was her Sexual Assault Response Coordinator which whom she filed a complaint against via email (I did see copies of the email) complaining what every other Mass National Guardsman complaints about, a SARC is rarely available when needed.  She felt that her rape allegations were going no where and not taken seriously and she also felt that her allegations against this specific SARC was also not taken seriously. This was confirmed by the ill actions of the Massachusetts National Guard that despite valid and serious complaints about a SARC that they went and awarded this SARC “2010 Exceptional Sexual Assault Response Coordinator” even with open complaints about her. Talk about a slap in the face and the emotional damage that this caused the survivor. You just don’t award someone while there is a pending investigation against something as serious as losing an investigation, doubting the survivor and allowing abuse to occur towards a survivor. A SARC’s job is to protect the survivor from further victimization not contribute to it! Finish the investigation against the SARC and if you still feel she should be awarded then go and do so but not when there is an open investigation against her!

When a rape report is filed, often the perpetrator is promoted while 92% of all rape survivors report being involuntarily discharged from service. It is the same that we see in this case, when a complaint is filed against a SARC they turn it around ans award the SARC. I’ll be following the Massachusetts National Guard and expose their unethical behavior until they change and become pro-helping their own comrades who been raped.

1ST LT KELLY SULLIVAN SOUZA, MANG- A DISGRACE TO ALL SARCS

Some SARCs were upset that we put all SARCs in one group and talked badly about them so now I am going to write about specific SARCs that failed our survivors.

We received many complaints against 1st Lt Kelly Sullivan Souza. She was temporary incharged of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program which many credit Souza for running it to the ground. Several survivors who have tried to work with her reported not having their phone calls returned, being forced out of the office so that Souza can go to lunch and one survivor even reports that Souza reverse the roles and found herself offering support to Souza, who was newly married and was facing her husband being deployed. We don’t really care what is going on in your personal life, do your job and leave your personal problems at home.

A survivor report that she was given information about a male-combat veteran yoga program which she found very triggering considering her rapist was a male-combat vet instead of programs specifically for sexual assault survivors. The yoga program according to Souza was for the survivor “to get over the rape”. I checked the website and the yoga program is the only local program that is advertised on the website–it is also run by a Massachusetts National Guardsman Jag officer so it seems to me that advertising for their own officers instead of doing what is best for a survivor. Ethically not right. Shame on you. Rape survivors should come before pleasing a military officer.

1st Lt Kelly Sullivan Souza, you failed Massachusetts, you failed rape survivors and you failed the Army.

If you feel that your SARC was horrific and want to nominate him/her email me and tell me why she should be listed here. If you feel that your SARC was awersome we’ll love to hear from you too.