Safety

Please note: The legal options and laws outlined below provide general information only. VRLC attorneys provide legal assistance to individual sexual assault survivors with immigration legal needs related to the assault in Massachusetts and Oregon.

For individual legal advice in Massachusetts please call (617) 399-6720 x19.
For individual legal advice in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, Oregon, please call (503) 274-5477 x6.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you may find yourself feeling afraid and unsafe after the assault. You may also have other safety-related concerns. The VRLC can help address your safety issues in Massachusetts or Oregon in a variety of ways, including:

  • Help you get a Restraining Order
  • Represent you to obtain a Stay Away or No Tresspass Order from a housing authority, private landlord, employer, or educational institution
  • Negotiate with employers, housing authorities, and schools to enforce safety measures
  • Work with you on ongoing Safety Planning

Restraining Orders

Restraining orders may be issued by the court or by institutions (like a housing authority or university). They instruct the assailant to stop abusing you and/or stop contacting you. A court-issued restraining order is often referred to as a "Civil Protection Order," or "CPO." It is a restraining order issued by the district, superior, probate and family, or juvenile court. If the abuser violates that order, then the police may arrest the assailant, and the court may impose a fine and/or jail sentence as a sanction for the violation.  
 

In Massachusetts, you may be eligible for one of two types of orders:

1. M.G.L. 209A Restraining Order: The 209A Abuse Prevention Order requires some form of abuse from a family, household member, or someone with whom you have a substantial dating relationship. 
2. M.G.L. 258E Restraining Order: The 258E Harassment Prevention Order is available to those who have been the victims of stalking, sexual assault, or harassment, but do not have a substantial dating relationship with the abuser.
There are three different ways to qualify for this type of order:

  • If you are a victim of three or more acts of harassment that is meant to and does indeed cause fear, intimidation, destruction of or abuse to property.
  • If you are a victim of one act of forced sexual relations. 
  • If you are a victim of a crime that falls within a specific set of crimes as laid out in the 258E statute. 

 

In Oregon, there are four types of civil protection orders. These include:

1. Elderly Persons and Persons with Disability Abuse Prevention Act (EPPDAPA) (ORS 124.000 et seq): The EPPDAPA is available to persons age 65 and older and persons with a disability who have experienced at least one incident of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse (or, in certain cases, neglect or theft) within the previous 180 days, and who is in immediate danger of further abuse. Access EPPDAPA forms and additional information here, and obtain a packet here (additional packets available in SpanishRussianChinese, and Vietnamese).
2. Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) (ORS 107.700 et. Seq.): The FAPA is available to any person who has been abused by a family member, current or former intimate partner, or parent of the abused person’s child within the past 180 days, and who is in immediate danger of further abuse. Access FAPA forms and additional information here, and obtain a FAPA packet here (additional packets available in SpanishRussianChinese, and Vietnamese).
3. Sexual Abuse Protective Order (SAPO) (ORS 163.760 et seq): The SAPO is available to any person who has been subjected to sexual abuse by someone other than a family member, current or former intimate partner, or parent of the abused person’s child, within the past 180 days, and who has a reasonable fear of future harm. Access SAPO forms and additional information here. Please also see the SAPO instructions and petition.
4. Stalking Order (ORS 30.866): The Stalking Order is available to any person who has been subjected to two or more incidents of unwanted contact within the past two years, and who reasonably fears for his or her safety, or for the safety of a family member. Note: Oregon law also allows a victim to file a stalking complaint with law enforcement. See ORS 163.744(2). Access Stalking Order forms and additional information here. Please also see the Stalking Order instructions and petition (additional packets available in Spanish, RussianChinese, and Vietnamese).

For more information, see our Oregon Civil Restraining Orders Chart.

***Please know that obtaining a restraining order does not guarantee that the assailant will stay away from you.  Some offenders will obey a court or institutional order; for others, it’s a piece of paper that they will totally disregard. If the offender ignores the order, you may need to consider other safety measures. The Victim Rights Law Center can help you make decisions about your safety planning after the assault.***