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If I get a 209A protective order in one town, will it work in other towns or states?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed October 2023

Your 209A restraining order is good in every town in Massachusetts. It does not matter which town you got it in.

Give a copy of your 209A restraining order to the police departments:

  • where you live,
  • in the town where you work and
  • in the town where your child goes to school or daycare.

Also give a copy of the order to someone in your workplace and to your child's school or daycare so that they know to call the police if the abusive person shows up.

What if I go out of state?

There is a United States law that says that every state must enforce abuse protection orders from other states. This law is called the "Violence Against Women Act."

But states do not all follow this law in the same way. If you have a 209A restraining order from Massachusetts and you are planning on leaving the state, you may want to call a program that serves survivors of domestic violence in the state where you are going to find out how that state treats out-of-state orders. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE; TTY 1-800-787-3224 to see if they can give you information.

Who to call for help

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