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What happens if the person who abused me violates the order?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed April 2021

What happens if the abusive person does something against the 209A restraining order?

If the person you have a 209A restraining order against does something that the order says they can not do, it is called a "violation".

It is a crime if the person violates the order by abusing you, contacting you, or coming nearer to you than the order says they can.

The part of the 209A restraining order that says “no contact” means that the person is not allowed to contact you themselves or through other people, letters or mail, phone calls, gifts or in any other way. No contact means NO contact! If the person tries to contact you in any of these ways, they are violating the order.

If the person does violate the order, report it to the police. The police can arrest them. If the police saw the violation for themselves, or if they have good reason to believe they violated the order, they must arrest the abusive person. If the police arrest them and charge them with a crime, you will have to go to court. Read Criminal Complaints for more information.

If the police are not involved or do not arrest the person or file a criminal complaint against them, you still have the right to go to the District Court and file a criminal complaint against them yourself.

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