"As a male Marine, I've always understood that sexual harassment and assault was a problem. But it was always this "out of sight, out of mind" idea. None of the female Marines I knew had ever been a victim, or at least that's what I thought. But that changed when the story of Marines United came out. I learned a female Marine I knew for over a decade had been the victim of some of the most vile and disgusting things I'd ever heard. Things so egregious I still struggle to understand how they actually happened. How could this band of "brothers" I was proud to be a part of treat one of their own in a way that degraded and dehumanized them? How could anyone think it was okay to do the things they did to her? And then to learn she felt like she couldn't tell anyone or report it because she knew her peers wouldn't believe her, wouldn't support her, and might even turn on her...it was like a knife in the guts, because I knew she was right. Her unit, her leaders and her peers failed her by fostering an environment where even going to chow wasn't safe for her. I failed her by not recognizing the scope of the problem and doing everything in my power to change the mindset of every male Marine I come across, to ensure they understand that sexual harassment and assault have no place in the military and that a female is not some kind of second class Marine. Not any more. Not in my Marine Corps." - Zach
"I was a victim of online photo theft and someone sharing private pics with the world in 2005. It ended my career and I've always hated how I was treated like some kind of slutty criminal, even though my record was clean and up to that point was looking forward to picking up Staff Sergeant and putting in for Warrant Officer once I hit my 8 year mark.
After I got out I hid in my house for two years and was afraid to interact with anybody on base (I'm married to a Marine).. I became deeply depressed and even considered suicide a time or two. After over a decade this still occasionally comes out to haunt me. I've overcome it only with the support of the friends I had in the Corps. They've stuck with me and reminded me that it wasn't my fault and to keep my chin held high. There are good men and women in our corps, but these assclowns are making a mockery of the rest of us. I hate that it's happened to so many other of my sisters and I want to see an end to it. I don't want to be a victim anymore, I want to continue to see the rest of us stand up and put our boots in the throats of those who continue to harass." - anonymous USMC
"I was at a senior enlisted (E-7) leadership school in 2013, and was participating in outdoor team-building activities. Afterward, a male classmate commented on the logo on my tshirt for a popular website, and asked me if I knew about "mind the gap." I said yes, and he said he planned to send in some photos he took from his work phone that day. I became alarmed, and went to the class leader (another male classmate) to confront the issue. I asked to see the photos, and discovered a trove of sexist, racist, and generally offensive photos and memes - some saved from outside sources, and some obviously taken secretly - including a photo of me taken without my knowledge, aimed at my upper thigh "gap" and other photos of female classmates' cleavage, etc. The class leader insisted the issue be squashed by simply deleting the photos, and it went no further. Since the photos weren't deleted in front of me, I fear they could be on MU, AnonIB, or similar site." - anonymous
"Just re enlisted, and extremely excited back in 2014. My mentor/ friend in Christ knew I was going to a new duty Station as a single parent and I didn't know anyone. He contacted his friend who was a GySgt to mentor me and show me around. I declined until the ball came around. I didn't know anyone and I figured this GySgt is my safest option if I decide to enjoy the ball. Instead of taking me home, he pulled over and raped me. Two years of dealing with the court martial and seeing him on base. I didn't know how depressed and how numb I could be. My career just ended... because I was supposed to be able to trust. On top of it all my mentor called me a liar... which hurt the worst. He didn't report it... he said I have mental issues. Good job Gunnery Sergeant. I just pray as a Sergeant I did everything in my will to encourage and set the right example for my Marines." - Anonymous USMC
"I am a male, former Marine (79-87) who, before this current story broke, had to take to task the admin of another FB group around alumni for one of my former units. He himself had posted an inappropriate though clothed picture of a woman for a "caption contest" ...when I brought up privately to him that it was out of line and not in keeping with our USMC Ethos, he resisted. It wasn't until I posted publicly that it was out of line and several other male Marines echoed my view that he finally took it, and my conversation down. I had hoped that the USMC had moved past this kind of gender denigration, but clearly not. Please know that not all former or current Marines are like that, and I, and others, stand firm in support of our sister marines. Semper Fi." - Ed Hudson
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