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"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 Councilor (Photo by Christopher Mason)

Massachusetts Legal Help

Legal issues faced by survivors of sexual and domestic violence can be varied and unpredictable. You might find yourself navigating criminal, civil, and/or probate issues in systems that seem impersonal and confusing. Talking to a trained sexual or domestic violence advocate can help you understand your rights and options.

Mass Law Reform Institute created two valuable legal information resource for survivors and advocates.

"Where Do We Go From Here?"  MassLegal is a self-help guide that answers legal questions about getting out of and staying out of domestic violence relationships.

The Domestic Violence section of MassLegalHelp has important information for victims and survivors of domestic violence about their rights concerning Abuse Prevention (“Restraining”) Orders, child support, housing, employment, immigration, schools, court interpreters, and a Legal Self Help Guide for Survivors that includes:

  • Getting Help to Stop the Violence
  • Programs that Help with Money
  • Child Support
  • Criminal Complaints
  • 209A
  • Custody
  • Visitation
  • Separation and Divorce
  • Paternity
  • The Department of Children and Families
  • Personal Property
  • Probate and Family Court

The Domestic Violence section also has legal forms and samples, booklets, brochures, pamphlets, and links to critical services and resources, such as The Battered Women’s Legal Assistance Program and Batterer Intervention Programs.

The section on Supervised Visitation is an example of the kind of comprehensive resources we are trying to offer survivors and advocates. It includes a video introduction, information about domestic violence oriented Supervised Visitation Centers, as well as forms and instructions to help survivors get supervised visitation orders. 


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