The Arlington Police Department recognizes that domestic violence is a universal problem that faces communities across the country. It ranks among the most difficult and sensitive calls for police assistance affecting people of all walks of life regardless of gender, identity, age, economic status, race, sexual orientation, nationality or religion.

The Arlington Police Family Services Unit's focus is on the prevention and elimination of domestic violence in our community. The Unit investigates all incidents of family violence reported to the APD including intimate partner violence, violence among family or household members and physical child abuse cases. Special attention is given to coordinating support services for victims of abuse and their loved ones. 

The following information is prepared by the Arlington Police Department's Family Services Unit

What are some domestic abuse warning signs?
How do I know if I’m in an abusive relationship?
What can I do?
What can I do if I am hurt?
What services does the Arlington Police Department provide?
Whom does a restraining order cover?
What can be requested in a 209A order?
Arlington Police Family Services Inspector
Local support agencies
Sexual Assault Programs
What resources are available for abusers?
Where is the nearest Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance Office?

What are some domestic abuse warning signs?

Have you ever been hit, pushed, grabbed, or threatened by your partner?
Does your partner frighten or intimidate you?
Have you told your partner that you are afraid of him/her?
Have you shown fear in other ways?
Are your children in fear of him/her?
Does your partner insult you, call you names, or say things that make you feel uncomfortable?
Does your partner pressure you to do things their way, make all the decisions, or try to control you?
Does your partner have a history of violence, or being short tempered?
When your partner treats you badly do they consider it to be your fault?
Do they blame their anger on alcohol, stress or other problems?

Back to list

How do I know if I’m in an abusive relationship?

Does Your partner…

“Track” all of your time?
Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
Prevent you from working or attending group meetings or school?
Criticize you for little things?
Anger easily when drinking alcohol or taking drugs?
Control all the finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
Humiliate you in front of others?Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children?
Use, or threaten to use, a weapon against you?
Threaten to hurt you or the children?
Force you to engage in sex against you will?

If you answer “yes” to even a few of these questions, it's time to get help!!

Back to list

What can I do?

Contact your family court for information about a civil protection order that doesn't involve criminal charges or penalties.
Talk to someone. Part of the abuser's power comes from secrecy. Victims are often ashamed to let anyone know about intimate family problems. Go to a friend or neighbor, or call a domestic-violence hotline to talk to a counselor.
Plan ahead and know what you will do if you are attacked again. If you decide to leave, choose a place to go, and set aside some money. Put important papers together – marriage license, birth certificate, checkbooks, savings account books, social security cards, insurance information – in a place where you can get them quickly.
Learn to think independently. Try to plan for the future and set goals for yourself.
Have a safety plan

A safety plan is a tool to help you identify options, evaluate those options, and commit to a plan to reduce your risk in a violent or potentially violent situation. There is no right or wrong way to develop a safety plan; however, safety plans are most effective when they are specific to your situation. Domestic violence advocates are available to help you create a safety plan. Contact the police victim advocate for assistance or refer to the community resources listed below.
**Remember to review your safety plan routinely and make changes if necessary**

Prearrange for a place to go if you are planning on leaving your abuser.
One of the most dangerous times for the victim is when they are terminating the relationship. Plan to break it off in a public place with a lot of people around.
Obtain a restraining order as soon as possible.
Change your locks.
Seek emergency shelter if you don't feel safe at home Change your routine.
Inform the people you work with/for.
Avoid isolated areas.

Back to list

What can I do if I am hurt?

There are no easy answers, but there are things you can do to protect yourself:

Call the police. Assault, even by family members, is a crime. The police often have information about shelters and other agencies that help victims of domestic violence.
Leave, or have someone come stay with you. Go to a battered-woman's shelter – you can call a crisis hotline in your community, or a health center, to locate a shelter. If you believe that you and your children are in danger, leave immediately!
Get medical attention from your doctor or a hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to photograph your injuries and keep detailed records in case you decide to take legal action. Services of the Arlington Police 

Back to list

What services does the Arlington Police Department provide?

All members of the Arlington Police are trained in responding to Domestic Violence Incidents. Restraining orders can be obtained 24 hours a day. All Patrol personnel are trained in the preliminary investigation of domestic violence. Supervisors in the patrol divisions are responsible for obtaining emergency restraining orders from the “on call” Judicial Response System.

Back to list

Whom does a restraining (209A) order cover?

Restraining orders cover people who:

Are married to each other.
Are or were residing together in the same household (this includes same sex relationships, couples living together, parents and children, roommates)
Are related by blood
Related by marriage or were related by marriage
Have a child in common, regardless of marriage
Are or have been in a substantial dating relationship

Back to list

What can be requested in a 209A (Restraining) order?

A court may order the abuser to:

Refrain from abusing, hurting, or harassing the victim in any way.
Vacate the household.
Stay away from the victim.
No contact, directly or indirectly, or through third parties.
Stay away from places the victim and child may be. (work, school, etc.).
Temporary custody of any minor children.
Maintain all utilities in the household.
Surrender all firearms, ammunition, and licenses and permits for firearms.

Back to list

Arlington Police Family Services Inspector

The Arlington Police Family Services Unit investigates domestic related assaults and abuse incidents. The Unit investigates all reported incidents of domestic violence reported to the Arlington Police Department, including intimate partner violence, violence among family or household members and physical child abuse cases.

Please contact us at:
Emergency Dial 911
Arlington Police Department 781 643-1212
Arlington Police Family Services Unit 781 316-3915

Back to list

Local Support Agencies:

First Step: (781) 316-3219
Provides free and confidential help for people who have experienced intimate partner abuse, including individual support and a weekly support group.  First Step can assist in accessing public benefits and programs specific to survivors of Domestic Violence.

AYCC is a fully licensed Massachusetts Department of Public Health mental health counseling facility that works towards the treatment, prevention and resolution of problems relating to Arlington children and their families. AYCC helps children and their families cope with peer and social stress, behavioral difficulties, family crisis and violence, depression, grief, abuse, neglect and alcohol and drug abuse.


REACH Beyond Domestic Violence: 800-899-4000
REACH is a comprehensive domestic violence service agency serving 6,000 people a year through a combination of intervention and prevention services. Our shelter, 24-hour hotline, and community-based support services provide domestic violence survivors with the help they need to achieve permanent safety and independence.

Middlesex District Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Advocates: (781) 897-8550
Advocates provide information on the rights afforded to victims/witnesses of domestic violence, explain the criminal justice process, and help people obtain restraining orders.
Cambridge District Court, 4040 Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford, MA

SAFELINK: (877) 785-2020
Offers a 24/7 toll-free, multilingual domestic violence hotline that provides supportive listening, safety planning, information and referrals to local domestic violence and community-based services, and access to emergency shelters statewide.

Transition House: (617) 661-7203
Provides 24/7 confidential hotline, emergency shelter, transitional living program, and support services to address domestic violence, dating violence, family violence, stalking, and sexual assault.

Saheli Inc - Helpline: (866) 472-4354
Non-profit Domestic Violence organization dedicated to empowering immigrant families from South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, as well as Middle Eastern countries to lead safe and healthy lives. Offers a range of services that are culturally and linguistically responsive services geared toward the challenges faced by South Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants in New England. Offers help regardless of religion, ethnicity, age, income, gender, or sexual orientation. 

Back to list

Sexual Assault Programs:

24 Hour Hotlines:
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) Boston 800-841-8371

Back to list

What resources are available for abusers?

Learn to recognize your behavior for what it is. If you assault your spouse, romantic partner, children, or other family members, you need to seek help. Likewise, if you insult, threaten, blame, and feel you need to control your spouse or romantic partner, or if you destroy things during arguments, you need to seek assistance. Your behavior may escalate into violence. The following Violence Prevention and Intervention Services counsel, assist, and treat abusers:

Massachusetts Certified Batterer Intervention Programs

Back to list

Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance Offices


131 Davidson Street Lowell, MA 01852
Hours: Mon – Fri 7:00am to 5:00pm


245 Commercial Street Malden, MA 02148
Hours: Mon – Fri 7:45am to 5:00pm


508-661-6600 300
Howard Street Framingham, MA 01702
Hours: Mon – Fri 7:45am to 5:00pm

Back to top

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Flash Player Download Flash Player Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Download Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer