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Legal Information: Federal

Domestic Violence in the Military

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Laws current as of October 9, 2019

What can I do if the abuser violates the MPO?

If the abuser violates the MPO while s/he is on the installation, you can call the military police (the Installation Law Enforcement Office). If you are off the installation and you are in danger, you can call 911 to reach the civilian police. Although the police cannot enforce the MPO, they can arrest the abuser if a crime is committed. You can also ask the civilian police to contact Installation Law Enforcement regarding the violation of the MPO. Installation Law Enforcement will then notify the service member’s commander.1 You may also want to contact your Family Advocacy Program (FAP) victim advocate to report the violation of the MPO, as this may suggest that the level of risk for further abuse has increased.

An MPO is only enforceable on the military base or installation and only while the service member is attached to the command that issued the order. When the service member is transferred to a new command, the order will no longer be valid.

A violation of an MPO, on or off the installation, is the same as disobeying a direct order, which is a serious offense within the military. The abuser can be prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice – under Article 92, Failure to Obey Order or Regulation. Depending on a number of factors, a violation of an MPO may result in non-judicial punishment, court-martial proceedings, or other disciplinary measures.

For information on what happens if the service member violates the MPO off of the installation, go to Are MPOs and civil protection orders (CPOs) valid wherever I go?

1 Department of Defense Instruction, Number 6400.06, Incorporating Change 4, May 26, 2017