My boyfriend says he'll stand up for me but never does, what should I do?

My boyfriend and I have had our ups and our downs and have gotten through everything but one standing issue: he never stands up for me when I need it. He always says he will, but never follows through with his words. I understand that he doesn't like to confront or upset people, but shouldn't a guy defend the "love of his life"? This has happened on multiple occasions, involving his friends, our aquaintances, and others. He's had friends seriously threaten to kill me, aquaintances show me innappropriate body parts, friends ridicule me, and other such senarios. Every time he says he'll do something, but in the end nothing ever happens. I've told him over and over again how much it bothers me and hurts, but he says he doesn't know what to do. I love him, but I'm lost and don't know what to do anymore...
My boyfriend says he'll stand up for me but never does, what should I do?
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