What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of control used by one person to exert power over another. Verbal abuse, threats, physical, and sexual abuse are the methods used to maintain power and control. Domestic violence may occur in a particular pattern or may be random acts. It may happen frequently or may be a rare occurrence. Domestic violence crosses all social, economic, racial, cultural and religious boundaries. Experience indicates that incidents of violence tend to increase over time, as does the severity of the attacks.

Violent physical acts are criminal and the batterer can be prosecuted for committing them. Emotional abuse and insults are almost always part of the abuse pattern, but may not be criminal acts. It can be more difficult to recover from the emotional abuse; it whittles away at one's self esteem and sense of confidence.

Domestic violence is not caused or provoked by the action or inaction 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. Abusers blame the victim for their violent acts and do not take responsibility for their abusive behavior. There is never an excuse for violence. For more information related to Domestic Violence, contact Lieutenant Mark Buckley or Officer Carlos Mercado at the Family Services Unit via 978-970-4023.

Show All Answers

1. What is domestic violence?
2. What is a 209A order?
3. How can I get a 209A to help protect my family and I?
4. Where do I get a 209A order?
5. What kind of questions will they ask me on the form?
6. What can I ask for on the application?
7. What about child custody and visitation?
8. What happens next?
9. What will the Judge do after speaking with me?
10. What is a 10 Day Hearing?
11. What happens at the end of a year?
12. Can a minor obtain a 209A?
13. What if the order is violated?
14. What should I do if an arrest is made?
15. What happens after the arrest?
16. What crimes can an abuser be charged with?
17. What will happen at the court arraignment?
18. What will happen after the arraignment?
19. What is a batterer's intervention program?
20. Will intervention stop the abuse?
21. Will I still be at risk?