Boston residents who are confronted with the threat of abuse and harassment or are dealing with its physical and emotional effects should understand that they have the right to be safe in their own home. Being in an abusive relationship is often cyclical with seemingly no possibility for respite. These cases might spark law enforcement intervention, but it continues even after police have been called. Those who are seeking legal remedies for abuse or harassment should understand the criteria for getting a legal order to put a stop to it.
Abuse prevention orders and when they can be granted
In Massachusetts, an Abuse Prevention Order is also known as a “209A.” It can be given to a victim who was abused by a spouse; a person with whom the victim lives in the same home; is in a dating or engaged relationship; are related through blood or marriage; or share a child. These factors are not enough to get a 209A on their own. There must also be abuse in the form of harm or attempts to harm, placing the victim in fear that physical abuse will occur, or there was some form of sexual assault.
Harassment prevention orders and when they can be granted
Harassment is different from abuse. This is known as a “258E.” For there to be a prevention order to stop harassment, there must have been at least three acts in which the offending party behaved in a willfully malicious manner; it was aimed at the victim; the intention was to stoke fear, intimidation or abuse; and the person succeeded in these endeavors. Forced sexual relations can also be the justification for a harassment protection order. It can be given if the victim was stalked, drugged for sexual intercourse, assaulted, raped, assaulted to commit rape, or subjected to criminal harassment.
Legal help when facing these forms of abuse
For those who are dealing with abuse or harassment, it is important to understand what possible relief can be given. For example, the alleged perpetrator cannot commit abuse, contact or remain in the household if a 209A is granted. For a 258E, the alleged perpetrator cannot abuse or harass, contact or go to the victim’s home or workplace. Financial penalties can also be assessed. Protective orders are a fundamental step to try and put a stop to abuse and stalking. It is understandable if victims are afraid, but it is imperative to move forward in seeking protection as soon as possible. Consulting with an experienced and caring law firm can provide help with stopping domestic violence with a protective order.