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June 25, 2013

What are the steps for getting an MPO?

Probably the best place to start is with a victim advocate on the installation, the FAP, or at the local domestic violence program, if there is one that is familiar with your installation's practices.

Once an MPO is issued, it should be written and you should receive a copy of the MPO from the commander.*  Be sure to ask for a written copy if you don't receive one.  Most commanders use the recommended form, which can be found here.

The military police, the JAG office, the Provost Marshal's Office, or FAP are also resources you can contact for guidance.   See also I am being abused. How do I get help in the military system? for other possible resources. 

* See Department of Defense Instruction, Number 6400.06, Incorporating Change 1, September 20, 2011, section

How much does it cost to get an MPO?

It does not cost anything to get an MPO.

What should I do if the abuser violates the MPO? How will the abuser be punished?

If the abuser violates your MPO, you can call the military police (the Installation Law Enforcement Office). If you are off the installation, you can call 911 and ask them to contact Installation Law Enforcement.* You may also want to contact your victim advocate and/or your FAP counselor if you have one.

A violation of an MPO 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 90, Assaulting or Willfully Disobeying Superior Commissioned Officer or 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.

Note: Remember, if the abuser violates a CPO, you can call 911 and s/he can be arrested by the civilian police and prosecuted by the courts. Also, if the civilian police notify Installation Law Enforcement about a Service member's off-base violation of a CPO, Installation Law Enforcement is supposed to notify the Service member's commander.*

* Department of Defense Instruction, Number 6400.06, August 21, 2007, section E4
** "The Military Response to Victims of Domestic Violence, Tools for Civilian Advocates," published by the Battered Women's Justice Project, www.bwjp.org
*** Department of Defense Instruction, Number 6400.06, August 21, 2007, section