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Domestic Violence
Massachusetts General Law, C.209-A(1978)
Abuse Law


      "You have the right to go to the superior, probate and family, district 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;
 
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 legal obligation to support them; and
 
e) an order directing your attacker to pay you for the losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including medical and moving expenses, loss of earnings or support, attorneys fees and other out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained. 
 
For an emergency on weekends, holidays or weeknights, you should contact the police, who will refer you to a justice of the superior, probate and family, district or Boston municipal court departments.
        
You have the right to go to the appropriate district court or the Boston municipal court and seek a criminal complaint for threats, assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to kill or other related offenses.
 
Iff you are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to request that the 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 insured."
 


Alternatives for Battered Women
Alternative House
Emergency Crisis Hotline (24 Hours)
Toll Free: 1-888-291-6228
(978) 454-1436
Shelter
Community Education
Multi-Lingual
Legal Advocacy
Housing Advocacy
Medical & Social Service Referrals






Symptoms of Abuse - Threats, Power Misuse, and Control

What symptoms below fit your life?

Using Emotional Abuse

Putting the other person down
Making the other person feel bad about themselves
Calling the other person names
Making the other person think they are crazy
Playing mind games
Humiliating the other person
Making the other person feel guilty
 

Using Privileges

Treating the other person like a servant
 Making all the big decisions
 Acting like the master of the castle
 Being the one who determines the roles
 

Using Economic Abuse

Preventing the other person from getting or keeping a job
Making the other person ask for money
Giving the other person an allowance
Taking the other person's money
Not letting the other person know about or have access to family income
 

Using Coercion and Threats

Making or carrying out threats to do something to hurt the other person
Threatening to leave the other person, to commit suicide, report the other person to welfare
Making the other person drop charges
Making the other person do illegal things
 

Using Intimidation

Making the other person afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions
Smashing things
Abusing pets
Displaying weapons
 

Using Children

Making the other person feel guilty about the children
Using the children to relay messages
Using visitation to harass the other person
Threatening to take the children away
 

Using Isolation

Controlling what the other person does, who they see and talk to, what's read, and where they go
Limiting their outside involvement
Using jealousy to justify actions
 

Minimizing, Denying, Blaming

Making light of the abuse and not taking the other person's concerns about it seriously
Saying the abuse never happened
Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior
Saying the other person caused it
 

HAS ANY OF THE FOLLOWING EVER HAPPENED TO YOU?

Does your partner:

Blame everyone else especially you, for his or her mistakes?
Yes___ No___
 
Prevent you from seeing your family or friends?
Yes___ No___
 
Curse you, say mean things, mock you or humiliate you?
Yes___ No___
 
Force you to have sex or force you to engage in sex that makes you feel uncomfortable?
Yes___ No___
 
Restrain, hit, punch, slap, or kick you?
Yes___ No___
 
Intimidate or threaten you?
Yes___ No___
 
Ever prevent you from leaving the house, getting a job, or continuing your education?
Yes___ No___
 
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. The Tewksbury Police Department can assist orders of protection and counseling.