Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., alerted the Secretary of Defense to a “disturbing Facebook page” promoting violence against women in the Marine Corps. This comes just days after the Pentagon reported 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted last year.
Wednesday Speier sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Marine Commandant James Amos, and Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks. The page in question, “F’N Wook,” shows pictures of women half-naked, some bound, and others bruised and battered replete with sick jokes. She included images from the website, many of which are obscene and even gory.
Speier wrote that she was confident officials “would also be horrified by the culture of misogyny and sexual harassment depicted.”
An annual report released Tuesday by the Department of Defense showed that more than 70 members of the U.S. military were sexually assaulted each day in 2012. "The military cannot eradicate this problem without fundamentally changing its approach, including its tolerance of participation in these kinds of websites," Speier wrote.
According to the report, sexual assault rose six percent in the military from October 2011 to September 2012.
She says the site contributes “to a culture that permits and seems to encourage sexual assault and abuse.”
F’N Wook has 598 Likes on Facebook as of Thursday morning. Speier alleged that Amos has known about the page for three years.
In an email statement on Wednesday, Marine Capt. Eric Flanagan told NBC Bay Area that in general, “We have identified active Marines doing inappropriate posting on social media and they have been punished.” He said some were men on active duty and others reserve.
Flanagan said Marines are responsible for anything they publish online and there is a “no tolerance for discriminatory comments.”
Speier told officials that, after the new Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office report, she hopes they will work her to “protect out service members.”