Abuse Harassment Image
Massachusetts has two laws designed to protect you from others: Abuse Prevention (G.L. 209A), and Harassment Prevention (G.L. 258E). While both laws were created to protect you from abuse, the Abuse Prevention Law provides protection against people with whom you have specific close relationships, while the Harassment Prevention Law does not require any special relationship with the other person. If you are in an unsafe relationship and need help, please see Resources for Safety and Support for more information about available services and safety planning.

What is the difference between an Abuse Prevention Order (209A) and a Harassment Prevention Order (258E)?

If you are being abused or harassed, you may be able to request a restraining order. This page explains the difference between the two types.

Abuse Prevention Orders: Information for Plaintiffs (People Seeking Orders)

What you need to know to get a 209A domestic violence abuse prevention order.

Abuse Prevention Orders: Information for Defendants

Provides information on the process if you have received a 209A Abuse Prevention Order. 

Harassment Prevention Orders

The Harassment Prevention Law, commonly called “Chapter 258E ”, is there to protect you against someone who is harassing, stalking or sexually assaulting you, no matter what your relationship with them might be.

Restraining Order Forms

Forms for use in 209A Abuse Prevention Order cases, provided in seven languages.