ABC News has reported that the scandal involving the publishing nude photos of female members in the military was reported to the Pentagon months before. In an anonymous survey conducted by the military in 2016, sexual harassment and assault, over 6000 female military members complained about the practice.
The survey was sent to 735,000 military members and over 150,000 responded. The social media questions were asked for the first time because the military reported that this was becoming a concern. So the various commands had to be receiving complaints about this practice or they encountered them thru word of mouth in the individual units or organizations.
In a report issued Monday, the Pentagon said that nearly 6,200 military members said that sexually explicit photos of them were taken or shared against their will by someone from work, and it made them “uncomfortable, angry or upset.” And, across the services, female Marines made up the largest percentage of women who complained.
More than 22,000 service members said they were upset or angry when someone at work showed or sent them pornography. And, again, female Marines represented the highest percentage of complaints from women.
The responses reflect a growing concern across the military about inappropriate social media behavior. The scandal came to light last month when sexually explicit photos of female and male Marines were being shared on a secret Facebook page. The revelation triggered a wide-ranging criminal investigation that now encompasses all the services, and has prompted changes and restrictions in military social media policies.
The latest survey results, however, make it clear that the issue has long been simmering in the military.
Nate Galbreath, deputy director of the Pentagon’s sexual assault prevention office, said the results “tell us that this is a problem and we have to start having more conversations about social media behavior.”
While the number of sexual assaults and unwanted contacts is far down from the numbers posted just a few years ago, the fact that nearly 15,000 responded that they were indeed victims of this speaks to a bigger issue. Of the reported 14,900 members stating that they received unwanted sexual contact, 6300 of them were men.
That’s nearly 10 percent of the members responding to the survey. And since these types of issues largely go unreported, the Pentagon still has a lot of work to do in this area.
To read the entire article from ABC News, click here:
Photo courtesy DOD