A Coast Guard review released Wednesday found that the service failed to live up to its core values when it mishandled sexual assault reports and hid results of investigations into the cases, eroding trust in leaders and causing further psychological harm to victims.
The 90-day review into the Coast Guard's climate and handling of sexual assaults and harassment claims — ordered in July by Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan — said service members are “not experiencing the safe, empowering workplace they expect and deserve” and don't trust that they will be protected if they report an incident.
Fagan called for the review following reports by CNN on the service's failure to disclose the results of an investigation called Operation Fouled Anchor, which uncovered 60 substantiated cases of rape, sexual assault and harassment over nearly two decades, and failures by leaders to prosecute suspects for misconduct.
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The authors of the review released Wednesday also found, when hearing from victims as far back as the 1960s, that the failings contributed to “deep-rooted feelings of pain and a loss of trust in the organization.”
Such cover-ups and missteps are incongruent with the Coast Guard's values of honor, respect and devotion to duty, they added.
“For so many victims, there are even deeper levels of broken trust: in leaders who failed them in…