The abuse prevention law (Chapter 209A ) is designed to protect victims from abuse. The law allows victims to ask for a court order to protect them. This is sometimes called a 209A order, an abuse prevention order, restraining order, or a protective order.  The term “abuse prevention order” will be used in this document.  In court, the plaintiff is the person who requests the court to issue the order.  The defendant is the person the order is issued against.