Protect Our Defenders News Blog


January 11 in DC: Attend US Commission on Civil Rights briefing on military sexual assault

Friends in the Washington, DC region:

On Friday, January 11, 2013 the US Commission on Civil Rights will hold a day-long public briefing on the DOD’s policies and practices concerning sexual assault. We invite you to attend the briefing, which is open to interested members of the public.

Protect Our Defenders’ President, Nancy Parrish, will be speaking in the first panel of the day.

There is limited seating so we encourage you to arrive early.

When: Friday, January 11, 2013 at 9:30 AM ET
Where: Commission headquarters, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425

The entrance to the building is on F St, between the Dress Barn and the National Press Building. Please come to the 11th Floor of the North Tower entrance of National Place.  The double glass doors of Suite 1150 will be open to the public.

Below please find the agenda for the day and additional information. If you have any questions, please email

Active and former service members, particularly those who have been the victim of sexual assault or have been accused of sexual assault, are encouraged to submit written comments by Monday, February 11. Comments may be submitted by mail to the address above; emailed to, or faxed to 202-376-1163.

Briefing Agenda

Perspective of Victim and Accused – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

1. Rachel Natelson Legal Director, Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)

2. Phillip D. Cave, Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Law Office of Phillip D. Cave (Defense Counsel)

3. Nancy Parish President, Protect Our Defenders

4. Bridget Wilson, Major, California Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, Enlisted (Ret.) Rosenstein, Wilson & Dean, P.L.C. (Defense Counsel)

Academic Scholar Panel – 11:05 am to 12:30 pm

1. Dwight H. Sullivan George Washington University Law School

2. Elizabeth Hillman, University of California, Hastings, School of Law

3. Victor Hansen, New England School of Law

4. David Lisak, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Boston, Department of Psychology

Break 12:30 to 1:15pm

Military Panel – 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm

1. Major General Gary Patton Director, Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO)

2. Nate Galbreath, MSF, Ph.D. Highly Qualified Expert, SAPRO

3. Lieutenant General Richard C. Harding, Judge Advocate General, U.S. Department of the Air Force

4. Vice Admiral Nanette M. DeRenzi, Judge Advocate General, U.S. Department of the Navy

5. Lieutenant General Dana K. Chipman Judge Advocate General, U.S. Department of the Army

6. Major General Vaughn Ary, Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandment of the Marine Corps

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with monitoring federal civil rights enforcement

The Commission plans to gather information on how the DoD: (1) Educates service members, generally, about the DoD’s sexual assault policies; (2) Educates officers on how to process reports of sexual assault; (3) Assists sexual assault victims to file reports and receive needed medical/social services; (4) Investigates sexual assault reports, including the gathering and retention of evidence; and (5) Disciplines perpetrators, with a special focus on the process by which officers decide what form(s) of discipline to impose.