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Get help to stop the violence

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed October 2019

Talk to someone

If you can, talk to someone about what to do to stop the abuse, keeping your children safe, or how to leave an abusive relationship safely.

See the information provided by Jane Doe, Inc. and the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence:

See also the 209A & 258E Resource Guide which lists domestic and sexual violence resources by Massachusetts county. This resource was created by the Adminstrative Office of the District Court with assistance from Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance (MOVA).

You can also call Safelink, a 24-hour multilingual statewide hotline to speak to an advocate that can tell you where to find help near you. 1-877-785-2020 TTY: 1-877-521-2601

Make a plan

A Personalized Safety Plan helps you think ahead about things like:
  • What you can do to protect yourself when the other person gets violent.
  • How to leave quickly and where you can go.
  • If you live separately from your partner, how to protect yourself if they try to find you.
  • How to stay safe on the job, at school, in public. And
  • How to use the courts to help keep you safe.

See a sample Personalized Safety Plan you can use.

You can find more information about Safety Plans from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Get legal advice

You may be able to get legal advice for free. See Find-Legal-Aid.

Find out about abuse education programs for your abusive partner

In a criminal case, the court can order your partner to get treatment at an Intimate Partner Abuse Education Program.

If you file for a 209A Protective Order, a restraining order, the court may recommend or refer them to this kind of treatment program or to alcohol or drug treatment.

These treatment programs are all different. Massachusetts Department of Health and Human services has a web page about Intimate Partner Abuse Education Program Services where you can find the phone numbers and addresses of batterer intervention programs in your area.

If your partner is in a program, the program may contact you. You do not have to agree to anything they suggest.If your partner is violent, it means that they have a problem and needs to be willing to change.

Learn about keeping your children safe during parenting time or visits with their abusive parent

Learn about keeping your children safe. See Supervised Visitation

Who to call for help

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Ask a Law Librarian

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