Domestic abuse is a serious problem. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 1 in 3 Massachusetts women has experienced sexual or physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. In the U.S. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
The term “domestic violence” or “battering” refers to physical abuse committed by a member of a household, a family member, or an intimate partner against another member of the household, family, or against the intimate partner. It can also refer to physical abuse committed by one person against another in certain dating relationships or engagements.
Seeking A Restraining Order In Massachusetts
In Massachusetts a victim of domestic abuse can file for a 209A Protective Order, also known as a “restraining order”. The sections of this order cover many different issues to protect the plaintiff/victim from further harm. For example in Section 3;Article c: “an order to vacate shall be for a fixed period of time, not to exceed one year, at the expiration of which time the court may extend any such order upon motion of the plaintiff”.
You can seek a 209A Protective Order if your abuser:
- harms you physically,
- tries to harm you physically,
- makes you afraid that serious physical harm is going to happen to you, or
- threatens, pressures or forces you to have sex.
Domestic Violence Programs In South Coast Massachusetts And Cape Cod
If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic abuse, there are many resources and programs in our area. Here are a few:
- A Safe Place, Nantucket Cape Cod
- Center for Women, North Falmouth
- enCONNECT to End Violence, Vineyard Haven
- Independence House, Hyannis
- South Shore Women’s Resource Center, Plymouth
- SSTAR Women’s Center, Fall River
- The Women’s Center, New Bedford
Speaking With An Experienced Family Law Attorney Can Be Helpful
Mike Suarez serves Buzzard’s Bay and all of Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. Please contact him to discuss your case.
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