A Guide to Resources Available to
Families Impacted By Violence & Abuse

Abuse isn’t just wrong, it’s illegal. If your family is facing violence or the threat of violence, help is available. If you are in danger, call 911 now!

If you are not in immediate danger, you can obtain a restraining order from the Probate Court, or from your Superior, District or Municipal court. During nights and weekends, your local police department (numbers listed below) can contact a judge to obtain the order for you.

There is NO FEE for an order. Although police notify the other party if an order is issued, your phone number and address can be kept private.

209 Abuse Prevention Orders

You can ask for a restraining order against:

  • A family member, spouse, or former spouse;
  • Anyone you live with or used to live with;
  • Anyone you have a dating relationship with.

You may seek an order if:

  • You have been abused physically; or
  • You have been threatened with physical abuse; or
  • Threats, force or duress were used to obtain or try to obtain sexual relations with you.

In order to file, you must be:

  • At least eighteen (18) years old, or have a parent or legal guardian file for you.
  • Bring a picture of the person to be restrained;
  • Have their address and/or phone number;
  • Know their employer’s name & work address;
  • Give description and plate number of their car;
  • Indicate any drug history or gun ownership

If you need an order to protect your children, you can file additional forms with the court. You may also be able to get an order for support money, unless there is already an order (or a request for an order) in the Probate Court. Support that is part of a restraining order expires when that order does, unless the Probate Court issues an order that continues or modifies it.

Ordinarily, a temporary restraining order is granted the same day that you ask, and, within ten (10) business days, there will be a court hearing to see if the order should be continued.

YOU MUST go to the court for the ten day hearing if you want the restraining order to remain in effect. Continued restraining orders will expire in a year unless you go to the court and ask to have them continued.

Emergency Numbers – Other Than 911

Acushnet Police Department (508) 998-0240
Attleboro Police Department (508) 223-2224
Berkley Police Department (508) 822-7040
Dartmouth Police Department (508) 910-1700
Dighton Police Department (508) 669-6711
Easton Police Department (508) 230-3322
Fairhaven Police Department (508) 997-7421
Fall River Police Department (508) 676-8511
Freetown Police Department (508) 763-4107
Mansfield Police Department (508) 261-7300
New Bedford Police Department (508) 991-6300
North Attleboro Police Department (508) 695-1212
Norton Police Department (508) 285-0200
Raynham Police Department (508) 824-2716
Rehoboth Police Department (508) 252-3722
Seekonk Police Department (508) 336-8123
Somerset Police Department (508) 679-2138
Swansea Police Department (508) 674-8464
Taunton Police Department (508) 824-7522
Westport Police Department (508) 636-1122