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Domestic violence occurs when people who are in the same family or in a significant dating relationship commit acts of violence or abuse toward one another.

Domestic violence usually presents as a pattern of behavior that grows worse over time.

This is why is important to recognize it early on and get help.

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Domestic violence laws were enacted primarily to protect battered women who were married to their abusers.

Over time the laws have evolved to protect people of all genders and people in relationships other than marriage. Under the law in Massachusetts, roommates (including dorm mates) who are abusive to the one another may be charged under the domestic violence laws even if they are not in a romantic or dating relationship. A restraining order is an official order from the court that prohibits the abuser from contacting the victim, showing up at their place of work or school, removes any owned firearms, and otherwise dictates how the abuser must act. Restraining orders may still be obtained after a relationship has ended if the abuse is continuing.

Dating violence is a term that is often used to describe relationship violence between teens and young adults. It gives police the authority to take action if the orders are broken. In cases where no relationship existed, harassment prevention orders may be obtained. Stalking is a form of harassment that is generally defined as any unwanted contact that communicates a threat or places the victim in fear.

Where domestic violence is used in situations where the involved people are married, living together, or have children together. BUPD and all police in Massachusetts will honor valid restraining orders from any US state or territory. Stalking is a term that is sometimes used synonymously with criminal harassment.

It is typified by abusive and controlling behavior that gets increasingly violent over time. Disagreements are normal and healthy in a relationship.

Most people will never become violent, abusive, controlling and manipulative towards their partner.

If additional counseling is needed, the crisis counselor can help arrange it.

Rights under Domestic Abuse Laws You have the right to go to court, and to file a domestic abuse complaint requesting: An order restraining your attacker from abusing you; An order directing your attacker to leave your household, building, or workplace.

However, under the law police have very limited discretion in these cases; we must arrest the abuser if the person can be located.

Confidentiality is a major concern for survivors considering reporting.

Building off a long history of research in the area of intimate partner violence, NIJ is now looking to relationships during adolescence to understand the factors that put individuals at risk for involvement in abusive romantic relationships as adults.


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