Protect Our Defenders is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit human rights organization.
(Download IRS determination letter: PDF)
We honor, support and give voice to the brave women and men in uniform who have been raped or sexually assaulted by fellow service members. We seek to fix the military training, investigation and adjudication systems related to sexual violence and harassment — systems that often re-victimize assault survivors by blaming them while failing to prosecute perpetrators.
The Protect Our Defenders team has a deep understanding of military process and procedure, works respectfully and collaboratively to promote change from within, and engages stakeholders who can speak from personal experience about the need for reform. It is a human right to work and live in a safe and respectful environment and fostering this environment within the military’s ranks will make the military more effective. Whether we are advocating for reform, filing a legal brief, providing legal support, or coordinating peer support for survivors; each project and activity manifests POD’s core values.
We research and expose dysfunction in the military training, investigation, adjudication and veterans service systems related to rape, sexual assault and harassment.
We educate the public and policy makers on the problems related to these issues along with potential solutions. Sexual violence in the military is often not adequately investigated or prosecuted and victims are often blamed, pushed out of the service and denied benefits.
We amplify survivors’ voices, enabling them to share their stories with the American people, elected representatives and military leadership.
We collaborate with Burke PLLC to advance lawsuits filed against the DoD and service academies for repeatedly ignoring rape, sexual assault and harassment, failing to prosecute perpetrators and retaliating against the victim.
We help survivors find appropriate services and support initiatives to improve victim and survivor care through our survivor support network, forums and e-library.
We provide opportunities for these individuals, their families and advocates to organize and support each other through community building projects and events. We mentor and provide small grants to enhance these efforts.
And finally – we support policy initiatives to fundamentally reform how the Department of Defense deals with sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault.