LESSON 3/TASK 1
It is important in the process that the MP do not appear to take sides. The appearance of neutrality by
the MP is very important. Don't automatically assume that the husband is the one at fault.
After calming the disputants, the MP obtain information on the family structure and background before
attempting mediation. The gathering of this information often serves as a diversion, as well as
providing data needed. MP should obtain the following:
o Names and addresses of all present and their ranks, SSAN, and units, if military.
o Relationship and legal status of the disputants. (Married; nephew-uncle; boyfriend-girlfriend.)
o Length of residence in quarters and period of time assigned to the installation.
o Whether or not children are involved; if so, their ages and parental relationships.
o Whether or not MP/civil police have previously intervened in domestic disputes involving the
o If disputants are currently receiving any professional counseling.
Once the disputants have been separated, seated, and have furnished the basic information, MP then
interview each disputant. The key is to be a good listener, while at the same time guiding the interview.
Allow each person to give his or her side of the story. In volatile situations, it may be helpful to do this
out of hearing of the other individual. This is a situational judgment that has to be made by the senior
Each disputant is asked to define or explain the problem that caused the argument. Do not assume
that any involved individual is okay based on the word of the other disputant. Check with each person
individually. MP must appear interested and be good listeners. You must carefully avoid giving
opinions or making value judgments. Maintain natural eye contact. In responding, use neutral words
and be observant of body language.
If a disputant refuses to discuss past events, respect their wishes. When a disputant is willing to talk,
every effort should be made to gather as much information as possible. If