The Family Liaison Office (FLO) offers guidance and referral to those who may be victims of domestic violence overseas, including victims of spousal abuse and child abuse. While the abuse may be physical in nature, neglect and emotional abuse can also be very damaging, and since their effects may not be obvious to people outside the family, others are less likely to intervene.

Domestic violence often involves criminal conduct (assault, battery, rape) and is considered by the Department of State to be notoriously disgraceful conduct (3 FAM 4139.14). As such, it is grounds for taking disciplinary action against an employee. According to 3 FAM 1815 any person who suspects an employee is involved in domestic violence is required to report this information to the Family Advocacy Officer (FAO) at post. The FAO would be the Deputy Chief of Mission but any type of abuse may also be reported to the Regional Security Officer or the Medical Unit. For more information on child abuse, refer to 7 FAM 1720.

The Department of State’s Victims’ Resource Advocacy Program (VRAP) provides advocacy and on-going support during investigations conducted by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at

FLO is available to provide additional resources and information at

Advocacy Resources

The Family Liaison Office (FLO) resources do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any particular organizations by FLO or the Department of State.

  • USA National Domestic Violence Hotline: (Voice) 800-799-SAFE, (TTY) 1-800-787-3224
  • Pathways to Safety International (Formerly Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center): Pathways provides 24/7/365 worldwide support via technology to American victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and forced marriage. They can be  reached via an international toll free crisis line, 833-SAFE-833, accessible from over 120 countries, serving a population estimated at 9 million American civilians living overseas, 80 million Americans traveling overseas, and the 450,000 American military personnel and their dependents.

U.S. Department of State

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