A Military Protective Order, or MPO, is similar to a restraining
order in some ways, but also has some major differences to take
note of. In both the miltary and the civilian world, a protective
order requires your abuser to stay away from you and to stop
abusing you. However, an MPO can not be enforced by a civilian
court and civilian police can not enforce an MPO.
An MPO may
Prohibit the subject from having face to face, telephone, or written contact with the victim, including those conducted through third parties.
Bar the subject from designated areas or places, such as military family housing, the family home off the installation, schools, place of employment, child development centers, and youth programs.
Require a service member who is the subject of the MPO to move into government quarters.
Require the subject to leave any public place if the victim is in the same location or facility.
Require the subject to do certain activities or refrain from doing certain activities.
Requre the subject to attend counseling.
In the cases of MPO's, a commanding officer decideds wether or not one is needed. He or she can issue a verbal or written one. If you are denied an MPO, or disagree with the commanding officer's decsion, there is no appeal process. However, whoever you report abuse to, except for a base chaplain, is required to report it to the Family Advocacy Program.
An MPO is only enforceable while the service member is attached to the commander that issued the order. When the service member is transferred, the order will no longer be valid. If circumstances warrant the continuation of the MPO, the commander who issued the MPO should contact the new commander to advise him or her of the MPO.
Civilian abusers cannot be subject to MPOs. They may only be subject to a civil protection or restraining order issued by a state or tribal court. However, a commanding officer may order that the civilian abuser stay away from the base or installation.
MPO's may often be issued verbally- make sure that you get your MPO in writing from the commanding officer so that you can have it with you at all times.
IF YOU GET AN MPO, CONTACT THE CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES AND GET A CIVILIAN PROTECTIVE ORDER AS WELL. IF YOUR ABUSER VIOLATES THE MPO, CONTACT THE MILITARY POLICE. IF YOU ARE OFF BASE, CALL 911.
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