Protect Our Defenders News Blog


***PRESS RELEASE*** Protect Our Defenders Announces 2017 Justice Award Winner

May 31, 2017



Washington, D.C. – Protect Our Defenders (POD) has announced the winner of the annual “Protect Our Defenders Justice Award.” Earlier this month, attorney Ryan Guilds accepted the award on behalf of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer for their extraordinary commitment in assisting survivors of military sexual assault and harassment.

“It’s about empowering the survivor no matter what the outcome,” said Ryan.

Over the years, the hardworking attorneys at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer have taken on a number of cases through POD’s Pro Bono Network.

“Ryan Guilds and the firm of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer have been tireless advocates for survivors seeking to have their voices heard,” said Col Don Christensen, President of Protect Our Defenders and the former Chief Prosecutor of the U.S Air Force. “Ryan and the team of attorneys from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer are the heroes of the many survivors they have fought for, and POD is proud to present the 2017 Justice Award to Ryan and the firm for the many lives they have changed.”

The Pro Bono Network includes a network of lawyers willing to assist active duty, veteran, and civilian survivors of military sexual assault and harassment, at no cost, for claims arising from or related to their assaults, including various forms of retaliation. POD’s Pro Bono Network is the only program in the country providing free legal services specifically for survivors of military sexual assault. POD is grateful for Meg Garvin and the National Crime Victim Law Institute for helping to honor Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer.

Last year, POD awarded two attorneys from the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC), Cacilia Kim, Special Counsel, and Elizabeth Kristen, Director of their Gender Equity & LGBT Rights Program. Ms. Kim and Ms. Kristen have also worked tirelessly on behalf of military sexual assault survivors through POD’s Pro Bono Network.

About Protect Our Defenders: Protect Our Defenders (POD) is a human rights organization. We are the only national organization solely dedicated to addressing the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military and to combating a culture of pervasive sexual harassment and retribution against victims. We honor, support and give voice to survivors of military sexual assault – including both service members and civilians assaulted by members of the military. We seek reform to ensure all survivors have access to a fair, impartially administered system of justice. Learn more about Protect Our Defenders at or on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at