Abuse Prevention Orders
- What is an abuse prevention order?
If you or your children is being abused or threatened with abuse, you may obtain an order from the Court protecting you and your children from further abuse.
- What is 'abuse'?
Abuse is defined by statute as ìthe occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members: (a) attempting to cause or causing physical harm; (b) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; (c) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress. G.L. c. 209A, ß 1.
- Who can get an abuse prevention order?
You may obtain an abuse prevention order if you are being harmed or threatened with harm by a family member (by blood or marriage), a household member, someone with whom you are or were in a 'substantive dating relationship,' or someone with whom you have a child.
- What is a 'substantive dating relationship'?
To answer this question the Court looks at the following factors:
(1) the length of time of the relationship;
(2) the type of relationship;
(3) the frequency of interaction between the parties; and
(4) if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination of the relationship.