Domestic Violence Facts
Domestic violence has the highest rate of repeat victimization of any
On average two women per week are killed by a male partner or former
partner; nearly half of all female murder victims are killed by a
partner or ex-partner; About 30 men are killed by a female partner or
former partner each year, of which some number are related to self
defense following a history of abuse.
But figures show that domestic violence is
predominantly violence by men against women.
Among women, risks of domestic violence do not differ significantly by
ethnic origin; people in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender) communities experience domestic violence in a similar
proportion to the rest of the population (about one in four) and; More
than a third of children in a violent home are aware of the abuse - that
figure increases to 50% if the violence is repeated. Children may
attempt to stop the violence and so put themselves at risk; Domestic
violence occurs across society regardless of age, gender, race,
sexuality, wealth and geography.
The impact of domestic violence on its victims is profound:
Domestic violence causes lasting damage to its victim's physical and
mental health (More than 50% of women who seek mental health services
have had violent or abusive experiences) affecting their ability to
work, to support themselves, to maintain self-confidence and to move on
and build a new life; Domestic violence is a major cause of
homelessness, accounting for about 16% of homeless shelter placements.
Growing up in a household with domestic violence can have a negative
impact on, among other things, academic achievement and the likelihood
of school attendance.
Wellesley Police Domestic Violence Information
Officer Jenny Gonsalves is the Wellesley Police Officer assigned to handle and follow up on all domestic violence related incidents. Officer Gonsalves can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 781-489-6677.
Officer Jenny Gonsalves was appointed the Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer in 2007. This position has been emphasized due to the recognition of the growing problem of domestic violence and the need for a specialized position to address it. The Wellesley Police Department takes any report of domestic violence very seriously, and conducts a thorough investigation and follow up.
The Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer position concentrates on monitoring domestic violence incidents and following up with victims and families in these domestic situations. When Officer Gonsalves was appointed as the Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer, she attended various training with different organizations, including R.E.A.C.H., a local organization that aids victims and families of domestic violence. Officer Gonsalves was fortunate to not only receive training in domestic violence and be made aware of the rising number of incidents, but to work directly with victims, or more commonly referred to as “survivors” of domestic violence. Her training continues with the latest classes and also involves networking with a variety of services and organizations to help aid victims and families.
Upon appointment, Officer Gonsalves reviewed incidents of domestic violence that had occurred in the past several months in Wellesley. The purpose of this was to speak to victims of prior incidents and to offer any aid or services that they might need. Also, it was pertinent to let them know that they had a particular officer that they could go to, if for no other purpose than to ask questions or find out what their resources are.
Other officers report any occurrences of domestic violence that may occur while she is not working. The officers submit a copy of their report to me and email me any other information they may find helpful or pertinent when contacting the victims. I have distributed information cards on domestic violence to all officers to aid them in writing a domestic violence report and assessing danger in each unique domestic case.
Officer Gonsalves has also received anonymous phone calls from victims and /or their family members looking for information, services and what resources are available to them. People are welcome to contact me via email, telephone or by making an appointment. No one is ever required to give their name or any personal information. As Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention Officer, she is here to offer any aid and information to anyone who would like it.
Common Questions Regarding Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders
WHAT IS A 209A ORDER?
An Abuse Prevention Order, called a "209A Order," or a "protective order," or "restraining order," is a civil court order intended to provide protection from physical or sexual harm caused by force or threat of harm from a family or household member. You can obtain an order against:
· A spouse or former spouse
· A present or former household member
· A relative by blood or a present or former relative by marriage
· the parent of your minor child
· A person with whom you have or had a substantial dating relationship.
WHERE CAN I GET A 209A ORDER?
A 209A Order can be obtained in any District Court, Superior Court , or Probate and Family Court in Massachusetts. An emergency 209A order can be obtained through any police department after court hours, on weekends and holidays. You do not need a lawyer to file for a 209A Order and there is no charge for filing. An emergency 209A order will only be valid until the next business day at which time a victim has to appear in District Court to extend the order.
HOW CAN I GET AN ORDER IN DISTRICT COURT?
Should you decide to go to a District Court for a 209A Order, you may go to the District Court in the area where you live or, if you have fled to another area to avoid abuse, you may go to the District Court in the area where you now live.
Go to the Clerk’s Office in the court and ask for a "protective order" or a "209A Order," You will receive a packet of forms to complete as an application for a protective order.
In some courts, there may be a Court Advocate from a local battered women’s service agency to help you with the form. A Victim/Witness Advocate from the District Attorney’s Office is also usually available for assistance and to discuss the option of filing criminal charges against your abuser. Ask someone at the Clerk’s Office to direct you to the District Attorney’s Victim/ Witness Office for help. You do not have to file criminal charges in order to obtain a 209A Order. However, criminal charges can be helpful in holding a batterer responsible for criminal acts committed against you . If there is a criminal violation, the Court can also require a batterer to obtain counseling or other treatment.