What happens if the abuser violates the order?

Produced by an AmeriCorps Project of Western Massachusetts Legal Services. Updated and revised by Attorney Jeff Wolf for MassLegalHelp
Last Updated February, 2012

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

If the abusive person does something that your 209A protective order says he can not do, it is called a "violation" of the protective order.

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

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

If he does violate the order, report it to the police. The police can arrest him. If the police saw the violation themselves, or if they have good reason to believe he violated the order, they must arrest him. If the police arrest him and charge him 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 him or file a criminal complaint against him, you still have the right to go to the District Court and file a criminal complaint against him yourself.