Domestic violence is unacceptable in any form. It is sometimes thought of as a physical act, but it can extend to conduct that exerts power and control over a victim in other ways.
Stalking is a form of domestic violence intended to intimidate victims and it is against the law in Massachusetts. It includes a pattern of conduct over time where the victim suffers substantial emotional distress.
Stalking victims may experience behavior that alarms, significantly annoys or puts them in fear. This conduct may include threats that make the victim believe that he or she may be at risk of immediate harm, bodily injury or even death.
While stalking can occur in person, the law extends its protection to stalking that happens through the mail, phone and electronic means like text messages or emails.
A person found guilty of stalking can be sent to prison, fined by the court or both.
Harassment prevention order
In Massachusetts, victims can request a harassment prevention order. The court will hold a hearing to understand the circumstances of the situation and take appropriate action to protect the victim.
Generally, these orders include a requirement that the harasser must stay a certain distance from the victim, cannot contact the victim in any way and must stay away from the victim’s workplace.
Once the order is issued by the court, it will remain in place until it expires or the person who requested the order returns to court to have it changed.
No one should ever suffer from domestic violence in any form. Victims can be assured that there are options to address this behavior under the law and an experienced attorney can offer the protection and guidance they need.