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Legal Information: Federal

Domestic Violence in the Military

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Laws current as of June 21, 2024

What is a military protective order (MPO)?

A military protective order (MPO) is an order issued by an active-duty Service member’s command that can prohibit the Service member from contacting or communicating with a protected person or members of the protected person’s family or household. It is a tool that can be used by command to help keep you and your children safe if you have experienced domestic abuse or your child has been the victim of child abuse by a Service member. You, a victim advocate, an installation law enforcement agency, or Family Advocacy Program (FAP) clinician can ask the commander to issue an MPO.

An MPO is enforceable by the Service member’s commander. When the Service member is transferred to a new command, the commander is required to notify the new command of the order and recommend the continuation of the MPO when it is still needed.

Therefore, if you believe that an MPO is still necessary for your protection, be sure to contact the commander who issued the MPO or have your victim advocate or the FAP contact the commander on your behalf.

Note: If the new command decides to continue the MPO after the transfer, it is the commander’s responsibility to notify civilian authorities of the MPO.