A harassment prevention order is a civil order issued by a court to stop violent or threatening acts, abuse, communication, contact and/or harassment against you. It can also prevent a harasser (defendant) from coming within a certain distance of you.
To meet the legal definition of harassment, there must be three (3) or more acts of malicious (cruel) behavior against a specific person, with the intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property and that these acts actually do cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property -- OR that the following crimes have been committed against the person seeking the order: sexual assault or rape; kidnapping; stalking, criminal harassment; drugging persons for sexual intercourse.
Any person who is being harassed can file for a harassment prevention order. it does not matter whether the person harassing you is a stranger of someone you know. G.L. c.258E, s. 1.
For more information on how to obtain a harassment order, please click here for the NWDA Harassment Prevention Orders brochure.