Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Public Safety

Abuse Prevention Order FAQ's

Q. What is an Abuse Prevention Order?

A. An Abuse Prevention Order is sometimes referred to as a "restraining order", "protective order" or "209A". This document is a civil court order intended to provide protection from relationship violence.

Q. What is the legal definition of abuse defined by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 209A?

A. Actual physical abuse, or attempt to harm another or placing another in fear of serious physical harm or causing another to engage in sexual relations by force or threats of force.

Q. Who is eligible to obtain an Abuse Prevention Order?

A. Any person whom you have had a substantial dating relationship with. This can include spouse or former spouse, present or former household member, relative by blood or marriage or parent of a minor child.

Q. Who issues an Abuse Prevention Order?

A. The order can be requested at any District, Superior, Probate or Family Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Emergency orders can be issued when the courts are closed, by contacting the local law enforcement agency.

Q. What happens if I have an Abuse Prevention order against someone and they violate it?

A. Any violation on the order is a criminal offense and the violator can be arrested.

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