For Adolescents

A support/crisis line is a number you can call to get support and information. You can call just to talk about your relationship, or to get information about counseling, support groups, or restraining orders. People also call to get information about how to help a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship or if they’re seeing violence in their home. The line is open 24 hours a day, is free and is completely confidential. Womanshelter/Compañeras support/crisis line: 1-877-536-1628

Safety Planning:

Our trained staff member can help create a personalized plan to help keep a teen victim safe. Safety planning takes into account your specific relationship in order to give you options and resources for staying safe. We advise having a safety plan if you’re staying in a relationship that has been abusive or if you’re leaving an abusive partner. Safety planning can be done in person with our Teen Specialist or over the phone with a hotline advocate.

Court Advocacy:

Womanshelter/Compañeras has advocates in the Holyoke and Chicopee District Courts and Hampden County Family and Probate Court to help victims complete the paperwork necessary to obtain a restraining order. Advocates are knowledgeable about the legal system and provide support and guidance.

Restraining Orders

In many situations victims of dating violence may want to consider getting a restraining order. A restraining order (209A) protects the victim by legally ordering the abuser to stop hurting and/or making contact with the victim. There are a few things you should know if you’re thinking of getting a restraining order in Massachusetts:

  • The victim and the perpetrator must have a substantive relationship. This means that they must be related by blood or marriage, have had a dating relationship, or be living together. The law recognizes same sex as well as opposite sex relationships.
  • The victim must have been hurt or be afraid of being hurt by the abuser.
  • Teens can get restraining orders; however, many times judges ask parents to accompany the teen to court. This is an attempt to increase the victim’s safety by making more people aware of the order.
  • Schools and employers must enforce a restraining order. This means that the school is responsible for changing class schedules, lunch times and passing time so that the victim and abuser are not in contact. Although this may seem complicated there are Womanshelter/Compañeras advocates in the court who can help you decide if a restraining order is appropriate for you and help you apply for the order.

In-Court Advocacy

In-Court advocates are in the court and can help you obtain restraining orders (also known as a 209A or an order of protection). They understand the court system and will assist you in filling out paperwork and may even stand up with you in court to offer support.

Local Resources

When it comes to dating violence, this isn’t a problem that you can solve on your own. Even adults in these situations need help, so don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Womanshelter/Compañeras can help you.

Parents

Individual Support: It can be scary and exhausting helping your teen through an abusive relationship. Many times parents need support too. Womanshelter/Compañeras advocates are knowledgeable about teen dating violence and can provide information, referrals and support for you as well as your teen.

Safety Planning: Court advocacy and support groups can assist parents in keeping teen victims safe.

Teachers and Schools

Classroom Presentations: We provide educational presentations to students K-12 on keeping safe, conflict resolution, sexual harassment, teen dating violence and domestic violence.
Staff Training: Educational presentations to help teachers, guidance counselors and other school staff learn how to recognize and respond to teen dating violence.

Policy Consultation: We can assist in the creation and implementation of a school policy on teen dating violence.

Crisis Intervention: Womanshelter will send an advocate to local school systems to provide information and support to victims and their parents.