The Family Violence Unit provides a wide spectrum of services to victims of intimate partner violence and stalking in Norfolk County.
Established in 1978, the unit consists of specialized prosecutors and advocates who work together in a coordinated team approach. Family Violence advocates provide victim services in each of the courts in Norfolk County, including the probate court. Since its creation, the Family Violence Unit has been committed to enhancing victim safety and decreasing the incidents of domestic assault through the rigorous prosecution of offenders and community education.
The Family Violence Unit advocates assist victims with obtaining restraining orders in the district and probate courts and help victims to develop a safety plan for themselves and their children. Advocates will also assist victims in locating community based services such as counseling and shelter. The Family Violence Unit is committed to providing awareness and education to the community in an effort to reduce violence in relationships.
For over 30 years, the Family Violence Unit has been partnering with government and community agencies to assist victims of domestic violence. In 2008, the District Attorney’s Office implemented the High-Risk Assessment program, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary review of serious domestic violence cases. The program formally unites assistant district attorneys, victim witness advocates, district and probate probation officers, battered women’s shelter agencies, social workers, batterer intervention providers, Department of Children and Families (DCF) staff, and law enforcement officers. This team meets monthly to discuss high-risk cases from all towns in the county. The team works together regarding victim safety planning, child protection, offender treatment, and law enforcement strategies.
Help is available
IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OR WITNESS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, PLEASE CALL 911
As a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, you might be eligible for a restraining order. In Massachusetts, there are two types of restraining orders, an Abuse Prevention Order (a 209 order) or a Harassment Prevention Order (a 258E order). Please see the eligibility requirements listed below. Victim Advocates are available to assist you in filling out the paperwork in the district and juvenile courts.