Blasting News recently reportedly on the scandal involving U.S. Marines, posting and sharing explicit photos of their female colleagues on a secret online Facebook group and Google Drive. On Wednesday, a former female Marine, Erika Butner, along with Marisa Woytek, who is still on active duty, came forward to speak about the scandal. They said photos of themselves and other service women had been secretly posted online, without the women’s consent.

According to a report by CBS News, another former Marine, who has organized a victims’ group for affected Female marines, recently said the scandal had been ongoing for around a decade, but despite complaints from female service members, superiors did nothing. This statement led to the two female Marines coming forward with their own story. Woytek and Butner spoke at a news conference in Los Angeles, applauding the current investigation into the sharing of explicit images on the private Facebook group “Marines United.” Both women said they had learned clothed photos of them had been posted in the group without their consent.

Two female Marines and their lawyer speak about the scandal

According to Butner, 23, who left the Marines in 2016, she had been in touch with investigators in January to let them know of the online storage drive, containing indecent images of female service members, saying the drive was organized by rank, name and the place the women were stationed. In some cases the women’s contact information was also, reportedly, included.

She said, as a Marine Corps veteran, she is disgusted and disheartened by the scandal. As reported by Reuters, Woytek said in a written statement that although she was fully clothed in the images posted of her, those photos still attracted comments which suggested sexual violence.

“Boys will be boys” excuse doesn’t cut it

According to the lawyer for the two women, Gloria Allred, there are possibly hundreds of these postings, which attract pornographic and often violent replies.

Allred said some comments on the images had suggested the female Marines should be raped or shot. Allred and Butner both talked of women who had spoken out against the practice and had ended up being attacked by what they dubbed “victim shaming.” Butner said many people use the “boys will be boys” excuse for the scandal and she says that needs to stop. Allred went on to say the photo scandal has led to the victimization and denigration of female military service members who are serving the U.S., adding that it has an enormous emotional impact on the affected women.

Investigations continue into the Marine Corps photo sharing scandal

The commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps has condemned the sharing of explicit photos, with Gen. Robert Neller urging any victims of the scandal to come forward to report the abuse.

In the meantime the matter is being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and so far, it is unclear just how many Marines and other military service members are involved. However, according to an internal document, a former Marine was maintaining the Google Drive in question, stating the group had a following of approximately 30,000 service members.

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