Protect Our Defenders News Blog


MEDIA ADVISORY: Protect Our Defenders Policy Director Miranda Petersen to Speak at Panel on Sexual Assault in the Military


October 9, 2014 Contact: Brian Purchia,



Washington DC – On Friday, October 10th, Protect Our Defenders Programs and Policy Director, Miranda Petersen will be speaking at a public meeting of the Judicial Proceedings Panel on Sexual Assault in the Military.

The meeting will include panel deliberations on the current and proposed changes to the military statute dealing with rape and sexual assault. The panel will also focus on victim privacy issues in sexual assault cases. Specifically, the military will focus on its mandates to the review the admission of evidence of a victim’s past sexual conduct and a victim’s mental health records at Article 32 hearings, and at courts-martial in civilian jurisdictions.

The recent sexual assault scandal at Fort Leonard Wood is just the most recent example of the broken military justice system that continues to fail victims of sexual assault. During the trial of a drill sergeant convicted of sexual assault and misconduct, service members testified that multiple superior officers at Ft. Leonard Wood told them if the were ever attacked to not to report.

In response to these allegations of intimidation and threats of retaliation, Protect Our Defenders (POD) has called on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to launch an independent investigation into these allegations. A petition in support of an independent investigation has already received nearly 4,000 signatures.

For more details on the Judicial Proceedings Panel visit:

WHO: Miranda Petersen, Programs and Policy Director, Protect Our Defenders

DATE: Friday, October 10, 2014 

TIME: 8:30am-5:00pm 

PLACE: Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston (4610 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203)

Judicial Proceedings Panel Agenda:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Witnesses describe culture of sex abuse at Ft. Leonard Wood court-martial hearing

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Ft. Leonard Wood court-martial highlights sex crisis in military

STATEMENT: Protect Our Defenders Calls for Investigation After Reports of Intimidation and Threatened Retaliation Against Victims of Sexual Assault at Fort Leonard Wood Petition to end retaliation against victims of military sexual assault

About Protect Our Defenders: Protect Our Defenders is a human rights organization.  We seek to honor, support and give voice to the brave women and men in uniform who have been sexually assaulted while serving their country, and re-victimized by the military adjudication system – a system that often blames the victim and fails to prosecute the perpetrator. Learn more about Protect Our Defenders at or on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

Protect Our Defenders partners with Attorney Susan Burke, of Katz, Marshall & Banks LLP 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.