Harassment Prevention Orders

Massachusetts has a new anti-harrassment law, MGL 258E, which may be relevant to some people in situations of interpersonal violence. This law was specifically drafted to provide a criminally enforceable protection order for sexual assault and stalking victims who do not have the substantive relationships with the victims required for 209A orders.

Harassment is defined to include:

  • Three or more acts of willful and malicious conduct aimed at a specific person committed with the intent to cause fear, indimitation, abuse or damage to property and that does in fact cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property;
  • An act that by force, threat or duress causes another to involuntarily engage in sexual relations.

Because of the complexity of 258E and the serious nature of the acts that are required for a survivor to be elligble, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer or legal advocate prior to going to court and filling out any paperwork. A useful Massachusetts resource is the Victim Rights Law Center

Additional resources: