What is Abuse?

 


Restraining Orders:

Chapter 209A, the Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Act, defines abuse as :

  • actual physical abuse, or
  • an attempt to harm another, or
  • placing another in fear of serious physical harm, or
  • causing another to engage in sexual relations by force, threat of force or duress


What is a 209A Order?

An Abuse Prevention Order, called a "209A Order," or a "protective order," or "restraining order," is a civil court order intended to provide protection from physical or sexual harm caused by force or threat of harmfrom a family or household member. You can obtain an order against:

  • a spouse or former spouse
  • a present or former household member
  • a relative by blood or a present or former relative by marriage
  • the parent of your minor child
  • a person with whom you have or had a substantial dating relationship


Where Can I Get a 209A Order/Retraining Order?

A 209A Order can be obtained in any District Court, Superior Court , or Probate and Family Court in Massachusetts. An emergency 209A Order can be obtained through any police department after court hours, on weekends and holidays. You do not need a lawyer to file for a 209A Order and there is no charge for filing.


Previous: How to Help a Friend                                                       Next up: Basic Safety Tips