Domestic Violence and Abuse

  • The Global Community Liaison Office (GCLO) offers guidance and referral to those impacted by domestic violence, including spousal 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. Please reach out for help if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and abuse.

  • For anyone in an immediate situation involving violence or abuse, call 911 if in the U.S., and Post One if overseas for immediate help and intervention.

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 should report such 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 ongoing support during investigations conducted by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at or call 855-810-SURV (7878).
  • Employee Consultation Services (ECS) offers free, confidential counseling with professional clinical social workers to Department of State employees and family members. They can assist with job stress, marital and relationship matters, parent and child dynamics, single parent and blended family concerns, school adjustment, elderly parent concerns, separation, loss and grief, acute and chronic medical illness, depression, anxiety, and other emotional or mental health challenges, financial concerns, life transitions, new career/retirement issues, and pre-post departure and reentry concerns. Additional information is available in this ECS video on suicide prevention. Contact ECS at or 202-634-4874.
  • The Office of Personnel Management’s Responding to Domestic Violence: Where Federal Employees Can Find Help is a thorough resource guide that addresses the issue of adult domestic violence.
  • GCLO is available to provide additional resources and information at

Additional Resources

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

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future