If you live in fear of mistreatment from your spouse or partner, the law may help protect you.
Massachusetts offers several types of restraining orders that could assist you in freeing yourself from domestic abuse.
1. How does Massachusetts define abuse?
In order to qualify for a protection order, abuse under the definition of the Massachusetts abuse prevention law must occur. Abuse has transpired according to the law if at least one of the following actions took place at the hand of a family or household member:
- attempting to physically harm you
- causing fear of imminent severe physical harm
- causing actual physical harm
- forcing you to have sexual relations involuntarily
2. What type of protection orders exist?
There are three types of protection orders available to assist residents of Massachusetts. Those are:
- Emergency orders
- Temporary orders
- Long-term orders
The type of restraining order you could qualify for depends on the circumstances of mistreatment. Courts grant emergency when closed or when the victim is unable to appear in court due to his or her physical condition. In these instances, the judge must believe the complainant to be at immediate risk of physical harm.
Judges issue temporary orders when you file paperwork with the court before an official hearing can take place. These protect victims for 10 days or until the court hearing. Long-term orders last one year but can later extend to protect a sufferer indefinitely.
Victims of domestic mistreatment are normally frightened and unsure about how to move on with their lives. Know that you can get help.