A military protection order (MPO) is issued by a commander to an active duty service member to protect a victim of domestic abuse or child abuse and to control the behavior of the alleged abuser. A victim, victim advocate, installation law enforcement agency, or FAP clinician may request a commander to issue a MPO.
Among other things, a MPO may order the service member to surrender his or her government weapons custody card or may order the service member abuser to stay away from the family home if they are living on the installation. Commanders may tailor their orders to meet the specific needs of a victim.
A MPO is only enforceable 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. If the service member is being transferred to a new command, and the victim still believes that the MPO is necessary to keep him or her safe, the victim, a victim advocate, or a FAP staff member may ask the commander who issued the MPO to contact the new commander to advise him or her of the MPO and the circumstances within the family.
If an abusive service member violates the MPO, he or she can be disciplined under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Depending on a number of factors, a violation of a MPO may result in non-judicial punishment, court-martial proceedings, or other disciplinary measures.
If you are in an abusive relationship or if something about your relationship with your partner scares you and you need someone to talk to, if you are in the U.S. you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit their website at www.ndvh.org. If you are outside the U.S. you can contact the American Domestic Violence Crisis Line by calling the local AT&T operator in that country and asking to be connected to 866-USWOMEN.