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Massachusetts spouses can become stalking victims

If you are filing for divorce due to domestic violence, any interactions with your abusive spouse when dropping off and picking up the kids can be fraught with danger. Even if no violence occurs, it is still a time of heightened anxiety and stress.

What are the penalties for stalking?

According to Massachusetts law, stalking is classified as the act of unwanted physical or emotional distress perpetrated upon one individual by another. This can include anything from annoying contact that leaves the victim feeling fearful, to explicit contact where the assailant verbally, physically or digitally threatens or abuses the victim's life.

The different forms of domestic violence

Domestic abuse can take many different forms. While many Massachusetts residents think of domestic violence as physical abuse, mental or verbal abuse also qualifies as domestic violence. The main goal of most abusers is to achieve complete control or subjugation of the person who he or she is abusing.

Remedies in place to stop domestic violence

Legal recourse is available to Massachusetts victims of domestic violence. An understanding of the legal definition of abuse and the remedies afforded by the courts may provide protection from abusive relationships. Some requirements are placed on police and prosecutors that may help promote victim safety by disrupting abuse patterns. The law provides several ways of mitigating negative consequences for those reporting abuse as well.

Massachusetts YWCA awarded domestic violence grant

The Justice Department recently awarded a grant of $300,000 from the Office of Violence Against Women to the western Massachusetts chapter of the YWCA to help them in their fight against domestic violence. The six-figure grant was written in collaboration with Community Grants Association and gives the organization the funds to continue providing services to women and children who have been victimized by domestic violence. Some of the funded programs include counseling for mental health, substance abuse, job readiness training, crisis intervention and case management.

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