The Pentagon and Congress are facing heat regarding their stance (or lack thereof) toward sexual harassment and cyber bullying in a series of recent scandals in the military. A San Diego Marine boot camp saw a female veteran become the victim of graphic sexual harassment online, allegedly perpetrated by another military service member. This case almost immediately follows another cyber bullying and harassment scandal in the military which resulted in Pentagon leaders being accused of putting in little investigative effort.
Critics argue that the efforts by the Pentagon and Congress are more designed to save face than effect actual change. The backlash began after a private group on Facebook known as Marines United was revealed to allow the posting of female military staff in sexual or explicit contexts without their consent. After asking for the activity to cease, victims of the sexual harassment were then bullied or even threatened.
The NCIS, as well as the FBI and Department of Justice have begun working together to bring charges against those involved in the Marines United group. Those in the group that participated in the harassment and are still in active duty may face charges via the Uniform Code of Military Justice, while retired servicemen would be charged under civilian laws. The group has since been closed down by Facebook, though reports have surfaced of new accounts and groups forming to continue the reprehensible behavior.
The issues started when posts such as an image in dress uniform appeared with the caption “Making panties drop since 1775.” Negative reactions to the post were met with aggression, and one Marine in particular (whose profile picture showed him in dress uniform) has been accused of using language in violation of the military’s standards for social media use. A spokesman for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot of San Diego stated that the standards are designed to prevent “any form of harassment, discrimination, or hazing.”
The military’s concern regarding these images is not only due to the basis for the behavior, but also in order to protect active servicewomen from blackmail. Officers of the military have expressed concerns that compromising images of American servicewomen may appear on the “online criminal marketplace with ties to Russia.” Between very real risks to women in the military in addition to creating a culture of rape and harassment within the armed forces, increased measures need to be taken to stamp out this behavior before it has a chance to see acceptance.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Represent Victims of Online Harassment
If you have been a victim of online sexual harassment, or have experienced retaliation due to voicing concerns about harassment in the workplace, it is important to have strong legal representation. Nobody should have to face this kind of treatment – our team of South Jersey sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. are dedicated to providing quality representation. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free case consultation.