Massachusetts Abuse Law
MASSACHUSETTS ABUSE LAW (M.G.L. CHAPTER 209A)
You have the right to appear at the District Court, Probate and Family Court, Superior Court or Boston Municipal Court, if you reside within the appropriate jurisdiction, and file a complaint requesting any of the following applicable orders: (a) an order restraining your attacker from abusing you; (b) an order directing your attacker to leave your household, building or workplace; (c) an order awarding you custody of a minor child; (d) an order directing your attacker to pay support for you or any minor child in your custody, if the attacker has a legal obligation of support; and (a) an order directing your attacker to pay you for losses suffered as a result of abuse, including medical and moving expenses, loss of earnings or support, costs for restoring utilities and replacing locks, reasonable attorney’s fees and other out-of pocket losses for injuries and property damage sustained.
For an emergency on weekends, holidays, or weeknights, the police will refer you to a justice of the District Court, Probate and Family Court, Superior Court or Boston Municipal Court departments.
You have the right to go to the appropriate District Court or the Boston Municipal Court to seek a criminal complaint for threats, assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to kill or other related offenses.
If you are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to request that an officer present drive you to the nearest hospital or otherwise assist you in obtaining medical treatment.
If you believe that police protection is needed for your physical safety, you have the right to request that the officer present remain at the scene until you and your children can leave or until your safety is otherwise ensured. You may also request that the officer assist you in locating and taking you to a safe place, including but not limited to a designated meeting place for a shelter or a family member’s or a friend’s residence, or a similar place of safety.
You may request a copy of the police incident report at no cost from the police department.
QUESTIONS ABOUT DOMESTIC ABUSE