Military Protective Orders/Civilian Restraining Orders

As a MST survivor, you have the option to file for a civilian protection order (CPO) and/or a military protective order (MPO).

Military Protection Order (MPO):

A MPO is a written order that is typically signed by a perpetrating service member’s unit commander or other commander that has authority over the perpetrating service member. This MPO orders a perpetrating service member to refrain from any contact with the MST survivor. The perpetrating service member is notified of the MPO in either in writing, orally, or over the phone. “An MPO shall remain in effect until such time as the commander terminates the order or issues a replacement order (DOD 6495.01)” (Nelson, 2012). Note that MPOs are not honored off military installations (J. Diaz, personal communication, June 14, 2016).

Civil(ian) Protection Order (CPO):

A civil(ian) protection order is a civil court order signed by a judge. There are two types of CPOs: a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) and an Order for Protection (OFP). A judge has the authority to decide whether to grant or deny either type of CPO. Regardless of the type of CPO, if the judge grants it, s/he decides whether to order that the respondent or perpetrator to have no contact, (whether direct, indirect, or both) with the survivor. In addition, the judge decides whether or not the respondent will be ordered to stay away from the survivor’s residence. Finally, the judge has full discretion to order several other provisions (Nelson, 2012).  Note that CPOs are honored on military installations (J. Diaz, personal communication, June 14, 2016).


Source: Coping with Military Sexual Trauma: A Guide for Service Members &

Embattled: Retaliation against Sexual Assault Survivors in the US Military  &

CW3 Jennifer Diaz-Army and Air National Guard