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2 Types of Restraining Orders: Which One do you Need?

restraining orders

2 Types of Restraining Orders: Which One do you Need?

If you are a victim of harmful or threatening behavior, you are probably thinking about the types of legal action you can take. In this blog, we are going to discuss two types of restraining orders you can get in Massachusetts: an Abuse Prevention Order, and a Harassment Prevention Order. Both of these are a type of restraining order you can get in Massachusetts. 

A Prevention Order will force the abuser to stop certain actions. It can force them to stop all contact with you, force them to vacate and/or stay away from a home or workplace, and it can force them to surrender all firearms and firearm id cards. With an Order from the court, the perpetrator will be arrested for violating the terms of the Order.

Abuse Prevention Order

An Abuse Prevention Order is taken against a person who is close to you. For example, a spouse, former spouse, a person you live with, domestic partner, family member, or anyone you have a child with. 

Another requirement for an Abuse prevention Order is if you’re suffering from abuse because the person has:

Harmed or attempted to harm you physically

Caused you to fear that you’re likely to be physically hurt at any moment

Forced you to have sex or threatened you into having sex

Harassment Prevention Order

A Harassment Prevention Order is taken against a person whom your relationship to does not fit the criteria of the Abuse Prevention Order. A Harassment Prevention Order is needed if any one of the following are true:

The person did 3 or more things that were willful and malicious. To be considered malicious, the act must be characterized by cruelty, hostility or revenge

The acts were aimed at you

The acts were intended to cause you fear, intimidation, abuse, or damage to property

The acts did cause you fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property 

The person made you to engage in sexual relations by using force, threat, or duress


The person has committed against you one or more of the following crimes: 

Indecent assault and battery


Statutory rape

Assault with intent to rape

Enticing a child

Criminal stalking 

Criminal harassment

Drugging for sexual intercourse 

As you can see, the two types of restraining orders are similar. The main difference is the type of relationship you have with the person you are getting the restraining order against.

If you believe you may need an Abuse or Harassment Prevention Order, it is important to take action as soon as possible. If you are unsure of how to proceed, you can schedule a free consultation with Marlene. To contact Marlene, call: 617-875-2842 or email: [email protected]

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Still wondering if you should get a restraining order? Take our free quiz here.