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Protect Our Defenders

  • Broadcast in Health
Fuzzy and Suzy Manning

Fuzzy and Suzy Manning


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Protect Our Defenders is a human rights organization. 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. Our troops protect us and we must protect them.

Our effort is directly informed by our work with victims, survivors, their families and retired military. 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 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 (DOD) deals with sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault.