WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Federal

Domestic Violence in the Military

View all
Laws current as of October 9, 2019

What is a military protective order (MPO)?

A military protective order (MPO) is a tool that can be used by command to help keep you and/or your children safe if you have experienced domestic violence or child abuse by a service member. It doesn’t matter if you are a service member or a civilian. You, a victim advocate, an installation law enforcement agency, or Family Advocacy Program (FAP) clinician could be the one to ask the commander to issue an MPO.

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.

The commander who issued the MPO is supposed to recommend to the new command that a new MPO is issued when the service member is transferred if an MPO is still necessary to protect the victim. 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.