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What is Domestic
Domestic Violence or family violence is the abuse of power or control .
It is behavior used by one person to control another through
force or threats. A batterer makes a choice to strike, hit,
kick, punch or threaten the victim.
Domestic violence includes physical and sexual attacks and threats. These
violent acts are criminal and the batterer can be prosecuted for
committing them. The acts are a means of controlling the
victim's thoughts, feelings and behavior. The violence does not
lessen over time. The threats and / or beatings generally happen
more often with time, last longer and cause greater physical
Emotional abuse and insulting words are almost always part of the abuse
pattern, but are not considered criminal acts. The wounds from
these injuries, however , may be more difficult to heal.
Domestic violence is not caused by or provoked by the actions or
inaction's of the victim. Domestic violence is not directly
caused by alcohol or drug abuse, depression, lack of money, lack
of a job, mental illness or abuse as a child. However, existing
problems often create additional stress in a relationship and
may increase the risk of violence. Many abusers blame the victim
or other things for their violent acts and do not take
responsibility for the abusive behavior. There is never an
excuse for violence.
Children Exposed to Batterers
Children and teens are exposed
to sexual and domestic violence in a number of ways. It
can be a terrifying and confusing experience if you hear
threats or jealous accusations, are aware of tension in
your house, or witness actual incidents of physical
and/or sexual abuse of one of your parents, a sibling,
other family member, or friend.
You May Feel
While not everyone reacts the same way when exposed to
you might notice changes in your focus
at school or interactions with your friends.
You may feel confused, alone, afraid,
and unsure what to do next.
A lot of times children wonder if
theyíve done something to cause the abuse.
You may worry about other family members
who are younger or more vulnerable than you.
Along with these feelings and worries,
itís also not unusual to still love a family
member who is abusive but hate the violent and
First things first: You
deserve to live in a safe and stable home. The violence
is not your fault. Itís not your job to solve adult
problems. The person being abusive or violent is the
only one who is responsible for the violence.
Itís important that you talk
to someone about what you are witnessing in your home
and how it makes you feel. You can call your local
domestic violence program or other resources listed in
this web site to ask questions and get support for
Just because you are living in
a home where there is domestic violence does not mean
that when you grow up you will be either a victim or a
perpetrator of abuse.
If you are in immediate danger
call 9-1-1. Donít place yourself in danger by trying to
intervene in a violent episode. Rather, get to a safe
place and call for help.
Do I Need
a Restraining Order?
restraining order, also called an order of
protection, or abuse prevention order, can
be a powerful tool for increasing safety of
victims of sexual assault, rape, domestic
violence, and stalking and their children.
restraining is an important legal option for
victims and survivors. It is most effective
in combination with a larger confidential
plan for safety that can be developed in
consultation with a trained advocate from a
local sexual assault or domestic violence
program. Whether or not you may feel that
physical danger is imminent, consulting with
a trained advocate can provide you with
important information and support. For
instance, an advocate can talk to you about
safety considerations, necessary
qualifications, court processes, possible
relief, resources and other considerations
before seeking a protection order. Services
are free and confidential. No one from a
local sexual assault or domestic violence
program will force you to do anything.
the authority to issue an order for the
assailant (abuser) to no longer abuse you
and/or have no further contact with you. A
restraining order is a civil order, which
means that it in itself does not carry
criminal penalties. But if any of the
provisions of the order are violated, then
there is a criminal penalty AND the
police have a right to arrest the abuser.
superior, and probate courts can issue two
different types of restraining orders in
is generally applicable when there
has been some form of abuse from a
family or household member, or
someone with whom you have a
substantial dating relationship.
Harassment Prevention Orders
is available in cases of sexual
violence and stalking and is
applicable when the parties are not
known to each other or have not been
in a relationship
During times when
courts are closed, the Holliston Police
Department can assist you with the
process of applying for a 209A
Restraining Order. If an 209A is
obtained through the Police Department,
it must be renewed in court, upon the
next open day of business.
"I spoke out to put
a face to the issue for the millions of women, men and
children who suffer in silence and to say that you are
not alone. Help is available."
~ Ayanna Pressley, Boston City
Jane Doe Inc. - Technology Safety Link
Detective Ciara Ryan
A Massachusetts 24/7 toll free domestic violence
(877)785-2020 or TTY (877)-521-2601
Holliston Police Department
∑ Holliston, Massachusetts ∑ 01746
(508)429-1212 · Fax (508)429-0611