Protect Our Defenders News Blog


Protect Our Defenders Working Hard to End Sexual Assault Epidemic

The past few weeks Protect Our Defenders has been working around the clock to respond to the onslaught of developments regarding military sexual assault.


  • This week’s New York Times video features Protect Our Defenders. Watch our Advisory and Advocacy Committee members speak out about our military’s long-standing problem with violent sexual crimes:
  • At Protect Our Defenders’ suggestion, Congress established an independent panel to examine the military’s current system for investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating sexual assault.
  • Congresswoman Jackie Speier re-introduced the STOP Act to remove the reporting, investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of sexual assault from the chain of command. Our Policy Advisor Miranda Petersen and Advocacy Committee Member Jeremiah Arbogast spoke in support of the bill at a press conference in April.
  • We launched an initiative to expose the ongoing scandal at Aviano Air Base, where Lt. General Franklin overturned the sexual assault conviction of Lt. Colonel Wilkerson. We protested with the family of Kim Hanks in Tucson—where Wilkerson is now assigned—to demand the Air Force dismiss both men. The same week we launched a petition calling for their removal, which has already garnered over 7,000 signatures.
  • Protect Our Defenders helped expose actions by General Susan Helms, who, similar to Franklin, overturned a jury conviction in a sexual assault case without explanation.
  • We are shining the spotlight on personality disorder misdiagnoses. Look for our Op-Ed in the San Antonio Express this upcoming Sunday, May 19th.
  • Protect Our Defenders is partnering with the YouTube WIGS Channel, which is airing their second season of Lauren, a show about military sexual assault.