Koiles Pratt Family Law Group
Get Advice From A Lawyer 978-744-7774
Menu Contact

What legal options do I have as a victim of domestic violence?


Living in an abusive relationship is scary. Domestic abuse can come in many forms, including physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect, threatening behavior, stalking, and more. Those in Massachusetts who are experiencing domestic violence do not have to suffer; they have legal options available.

If you need immediate help due to a violent or potentially violent situation, the first course of action is to call the police. Under state law, authorities must arrest the primary aggressor when they have probable cause that an assault or other serious offense has occurred. Such charges are taken very seriously by prosecutors, and only a prosecutor can drop the charges against an aggressor.


Additionally, you can obtain protective orders to help shield you and your family from an abuser. The Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Act allows victims to obtain emergency protection orders as well as 209A restraining orders against abusive family members. These orders protect not only spouses but also their children and can include those who are merely dating or are in some other familial relationship.

Aside from legal protections, victims who have moved and need to keep their new addresses a secret can apply to have a substitute address set up. The Address Confidentiality Program allows a victim to obtain a legal address to be used in place of their actual physical address. Furthermore, victims can file civil lawsuits against their abusers to recover any damages associated with the abuse, including pain and suffering. Divorced individuals needing to protect themselves and/or their children may also seek child custody or spousal support modifications to further reduce the contact they have with their abuser.

No one should have to live in fear of abuse. Anyone in Massachusetts who is living in a violent or abusive relationship needs to take action as soon as possible. By reaching out to an attorney experienced in domestic violence situations, the victim can gain more information about his or her options and take steps to end the abuse once and for all.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Reach Out To A Lawyer

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

email us for a response


Office Location:

Koiles Pratt Family Law Group
70 Washington Street, Suite 402
Salem, MA 01970

Phone: 978-744-7774
Salem Law Office Map

office map