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What if you are a domestic violence survivor?

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Produced by Deborah Harris, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2017

A number of special rules and procedures apply to survivors of domestic violence. See F.O. Memo 2010-35 (Sept. 20, 2010).

Each DTA office has a Domestic Violence Specialist assigned to it. You can ask to see the Domestic Violence Specialist to help you develop a safety plan, help you get documents like birth certificates or court records, or locate services for your family.

The Domestic Violence Specialist will also help you fill out forms to request a waiver of TAFDC rules because of domestic violence, see How do you qualify for an exemption as a pregnant woman?, or a waiver of the family cap rule. See What is the "family cap date"?.

The Domestic Violence Specialist can also help you verify good cause for not cooperating with child support enforcement or can help you seek child support safely. See Does DTA need information on the child's other parent?

For more information and phone numbers for Domestic Violence Specialists, ask DTA for DTA’s domestic violence brochure, or go to Help for Victims of Domestic Violence on Public Assistance. The brochure is available in seven languages.

You can ask DTA for special confidentiality protections. See What if you need help right away? You can ask to use an alternate social security number (SSN). See Is a social security number necessary?

There are special eligibility rules for certain battered non-citizens and their families who do not qualify under other non-citizen rules. See What are the special non-citizen eligibility rules for battered immigrants and their families?

Advocacy Reminders:

If a DTA staff person thinks that your child has been abused or neglected, DTA may file a report with the Department of Children and Families. Consult an advocate if you are worried that DTA will file an abuse or neglect report.

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You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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