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Legal Information: Federal

Domestic Violence in the Military

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Updated: 
October 9, 2019

What will the process be like for getting an MPO? Will I have to be in the same room as the abuser?

Unlike civil court, there is no trial or hearing when you get a military protective order (MPO). Therefore, you will not have to appear in front of a judge, testify in front of the abuser, or even be in the same room as him/her.

The commander is the one who decides whether or not to issue an MPO. The commander may or may not meet with you before issuing the MPO. Often times, the victim advocate or the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) clinician may call the commander on your behalf to ask for the MPO. If you feel it is important to speak with the commander directly, you may contact their office to request an appointment. The appointment may take place in the commander’s office, at the FAP office, or another place where you can feel safe to speak freely to the commander. If the commander has a reasonable belief that an MPO is necessary for your safety, s/he will issue one.