Filing a protective order (209A) can be a scary time. Maybe you aren’t sure where you will go. Maybe you have children to consider. Perhaps your family is not as supportive or available as you need. There are places and ways to get help so that you are not alone. Here is a helpful step by step that we have created. It is not meant to address everything because everyone’s situation will be different. We just want you to know a few things along the way.
Reach Out for Help
Domestic violence is no joke. Many women are injured or killed trying to leave if not done properly. It is very important that steps be taken to protect yourself and your family if need be and that includes calling 911 where necessary or leaving your home to stay safe. If you do not have a lawyer and need one for advice, contact one in your area. The laws are specific to the area where you live so you want a lawyer that practices in your state. You can reach us at: Contact Us.
Be Prepared With Information
If working with our office, we will provide you with the forms you need to begin your filing. We will walk you through the information you need as well but generally you should be prepared to do the following:
- Tell what happened and why you need a 209A order.
- Write down exactly what happened. Do the best you can. Write down the things the abusive person said or did like, “They told me they would get their gun and shoot me.”
- Start with the most recent incident.
- Include information about injuries, if children were present or hurt, police involvement, medical treatment, other help you got, or destruction of property.
- Be as descriptive as possible, including past incidents.
- Write your name, home address, home telephone number, workplace name, address, telephone number, and school. This information is CONFIDENTIAL.
- Provide other family court cases that involve your child.
Filing a protective order is a stressful, scary time and there are no guarantees that your abuser will abide by the order. It always pays to play it safe and let the police handle any situations that may put you in harm’s way
If you are working alone, you can contact the Mass Legal Help Line,