The American Journal of Emergency Medicine reports that domestic violence cases increased by 25 to 33 percent globally over the past few years. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic abuse numbers have risen by 8% globally. 

Within the United States, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner on average according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). In a given year, that equates to more than 10 million women and men. 

Furthermore, the NCADV states that “1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases.”

If you or someone you love is experiencing abuse, you will want to consider steps that can take you or them out of harm’s way. A restraining order is one such tool that can be used within the court system. 

man holding woman's forearm in a struggle

Who Can A Restraining Order Be Obtained Against? 

A Restraining Order, also known as a “209A Order” or an “Abuse Prevention Order” can be obtained against several types of relationships or individuals. 

  • a spouse or former spouse
  • a present or former household member
  • a relative by blood or a present or former relative by marriage
  • the parent of a minor child, even if the parents never married or lived together
  • a person involved in a substantial dating relationship with the victim (Source: 

How Does A Restraining Order Work? 

A victim gives a sworn statement to the police about the actions of the abuser, and then a court issues a restraining order. The court can then order the abuser to do certain things including, stop the abuse, have no contact with the victim, stay away from the home, and/or surrender firearms. 

A court can also make a ruling about the custody of minor children at this point. Violating the terms of a restraining order is a criminal offense and can result in jail time if the order is violated.

old friends

Types of Restraining Orders 

Let’s take a look at two of the most common restraining orders issued in Massachusetts. 

An Abuse Prevention Order and a Harassment Prevention Order are two forms of restraining orders that may be useful to stop abuse. The Abuse Prevention Order is aimed at spouses, former spouses, partners, or someone with whom you have a child who has physically hurt you. The Harassment Prevention Order focuses more on any person with whom you have a relationship who is abusing you. 

For more information on protective orders, no contact orders, and extreme risk protective orders talk to our team of legal professionals at the Law Offices of Patrick Conway.