Female Marines United
Join us and donate to stand up for women in uniform who have been targeted by online abuse.
Money raised will be donated Headstrong, which provides free mental healthcare treatment for post 9/11 veterans.
On March 4th, Marine Corps Purple Heart recipient and journalist Thomas James Brennan exposed Marines United, a private Facebook group with 30,000 members who used the page to solicit and share over hundreds of nude photographs of female Marines and women of other military services which include both officers and enlisted service members.
The journalist who revealed this story, has since received several threats on his life and the well-being of his wife and daughter.
In addition to more than 2,500 derogatory comments related to sexual assault and rape, the page also identified women by their full name, rank, and where they were stationed. This led to widespread harassment both online and offline, including one woman who was followed and photographed at Camp Lejeune without her acknowledgement.
Membership was limited to male Marines, Navy Corpsmen, and British Royal Marines, who used a private Google Drive created by a Marine veteran to host and distribute the photos. According to the Marine Corps, that Marine has since been fired from the government subcontractor he worked for.
Social media accounts behind the page have been deleted by Facebook and Google at the request of the Marine Corps, and a formal investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has been launched.
The administrators of the page have not commented and have not been named publicly, but many women have come out and identified themselves as victims of Marines United or similar harassment online.
But we can do more to stand up against this injustice in support of the women who were victimized in the name of their service. Online harassment of this nature isn't new, but there have been many instances when women have felt that they couldn't stand up for themselves or other women, and remained silent.
In response to Marines United and its 30,000 members, with the Female Marines United campaign we can show that there are more people out there who support women in the armed forces and demand respect for all women who have met the standards asked of them in service of their country.
By asking $5 per supporter, we want women who have dealt with issues of online harassment, sexism, and feeling marginalized to know that they are not alone, and that there are men and women in addition to a number of organizations and individuals who support the military, but condemn Marines United and other sites that have dehumanized women in service. By donating more, you show the depth of your support to our cause and your opposition to the conduct of Marines United.
Donations will go to Headstrong, an organization that has been of great service to women in the military and veterans who continue to struggle with mental health issues and the military-to-civilian transition.
We ask that instead of donating as an Anonymous Donor, if you are willing, that you proudly include your name and your connection to the military because we are better than those who choose to remain anonymous and unnamed in their hateful actions.
By identifying yourself, we will understand the true scope of the different types of supporters and organizations that proudly stand by these women and others who have been victimized by online bullying and sexual assault and harassment.
Thank you for your support, your service, and helping us continue to serve.
This campaign is not officially endorsed or sponsored by the United States Marine Corps.
- Washington Post
- New York Times
- Marine Corps Times
Headstrong, founded in 2012 by a combat veteran, provides confidential, cost-free, and frictionless mental health care treatment for post-9/11 veterans that works. In partnership with Weill Cornell Medical College, one of the Nation’s leading mental health care centers, Headstrong developed an effective, individually tailored and comprehensive treatment program for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Addiction Treatment; Anxiety & Depression; Trauma, Grief and Loss; and Anger Management, and Military Sexual Trauma. Headstrong currently serves the New York Metro area, San Diego and Riverside County, Houston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., with plans to expand to Colorado and Washington. To learn more, please visit www.getheadstrong.org