Victim of Marine Photo Sharing Scandal Addresses the Military's Response - NBC 7 San Diego

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Victim of Marine Photo Sharing Scandal Addresses the Military's Response

Kayla Carnivaleis, a Marine veteran, was one of the women who discovered her pictures were shared without her knowledge or permission.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Female Veterans Take Part in #MeToo Movement

    NBC 7's Bridget Naso shares how female veterans are still being exploited on Facebook groups, despite claims that the military took care of the issue. (Published Monday, Jan. 15, 2018)

    Long before there was the #MeToo movement, women veterans were calling attention to the issue of harassment and abuse in the United States military.

    It peaked last year with a nude picture sharing scandal that rocked the U.S. Marine Corps.

    Nearly a year after that scandal broke, NBC 7 heard from one of the victims about a new effort to combat the problem.

    In the spring of 2017, a veteran called attention to private Facebook groups where active-duty military and veterans were sharing nude pictures of female colleagues.

    The commandant of the Marines testified before Congress and promised the branch would clamp down by increasing penalties and shutting down the groups that had as many as 30,000 users.

    Kayla Carnivaleis, a Marine veteran, was one of the women who discovered her pictures were shared without her knowledge or permission.

    “No matter what, the rest of my life I am going to feel victimized because you know you can just copy and paste a picture,” Carnivaleis said.

    But nearly a year after the scandal broke, women in the military are still being exploited, according to Carnivaleis.

    As new, smaller Facebook sites are popping up, Carnivale said, "Women's pictures are still being exploited on those sites and just recently, my picture was back up on another one.”

    She said she has asked Facebook to respond, but they have done nothing to remove the pictures.

    NBC 7 has learned the Marine Corps was well aware of the issue long before the nude picture sharing scandal broke.

    Officers were briefed by a Marine Colonel in Quantico, Virginia, in 2014 about the problem and were offered ways to deal with the culture of misogyny and harassment online, but little was done.

    U.S. Marine Col. Scott Jenson, now a veteran, is heading up Protect Our Defenders, a non-profit devoted to stopping sexual assault in the military.

    Carnivaleis said that news and the #MeToo movement is sending a strong message.

    “We're not in the shadows. This is 2018 now, you know? We are more empowered now and saying 'No more.'”

    As for holding military members accountable, several have been handled at court-martial. Two dozen military members faced administrative discipline.

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