Nancy Parrish Founds Protect Our Defenders

Sarasota's Protect our Defenders provides support, public education, policy reform and free legal representation to victims of sexual abuse in the military.

By Sarasota Magazine November 3, 2015 Published in the November 2015 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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“Sexual assault is more common in the military context. Rates are 50 percent higher among active-duty women and over 100 percent higher among men than in their civilian counterparts in the reserves.


“Young men and women enter our service as a patriotic act. If they find themselves a victim of violent crime, less than 15 percent report it, and 62 percent of those few who report were retaliated against by either their superior officers or their peers. [It’s] shocking, and it says something’s wrong with the misogynistic culture in the military.


“We provide peer-to-peer support, public education, policy reform and free legal representation. In two years we’ve had around 200 cases.”


Protect Our Defenders is presenting a panel discussion about the sexual assault crisis in our military at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, at The Francis. Emmy Award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault is the moderator. To purchase tickets, visit

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