LESSON 3/TASK 1
the individual is obviously lying, make it clear that they are not being believed. Questioning, repeating
the disputant's statement, and evaluating apparent facts are methods that will aid in gathering
information. After the problem has been defined, question the disputants about related problems, to
see if a pattern emerges.
There are four courses of action available to the MP once order has been restored: mediation, referral,
temporary separation, and apprehension. As soon as MP establish what has occurred, they must
choose a course of action. If the dispute has been verbal only, the MP can mediate, make referrals, or
suggest temporary separation. If a physical assault has occurred, they must effect an apprehension.
In all cases, the unit commander must be informed of the incident.
The most lasting and effective solutions to a crisis are those that the person involved comes up with.
The MP's goal in mediation is to help the individuals solve their own problem, not solve it for him.
Rather than giving possible answers or solutions, the MP helps the individuals express what might
work. Often domestic disputes, particularly verbal ones, are the result of a failure in communications
between the parties involved.
Before the MP can expect someone to follow referral advice, he must help the person realize that there
is a problem. MP should know the social agencies available on the installation and within the local
community. A listing of local agencies, addresses, points of contact, telephone numbers, operating
hours, and services provided should be available to the MP. Referrals have been found to be
significantly more personal and acceptable if the name of a point of contact is provided. Army
Community Services (ACS), hospital social workers, family advocacy case management teams
(FACMT), and the Military Family Resources Center are all excellent sources for this type of