Interpersonal Safety

Headline:

The Boston Neighborhood Trauma Team offers services for individuals, families, and communities impacted by community violence. Access support 24/7 by calling 617-431-0125.

Last-reviewed: 9am, Sept. 15, 2021

Key Resources:

The Basics:

  • If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Interpersonal safety resources address intimate partner violence, domestic violence, abuse and neglect of children, older adults, and persons with disabilities. Mass211.org offers a list of resources state-wide for survivors.
  • To find a sexual assault or domestic violence program in MA, you can call or chat with someone at SafeLink, the statewide hotline, or you can search by zip code on this interactive search directory
  • Every DTA office has a Domestic Violence Specialist (DVS) to help survivors access community resources, engage in safety planning, assist with shelter and housing resources, and seek waivers of certain program rules. To reach the DVS in your region, visit the DTA website, call the DTA Assistance Line at 877-382-2363 or review one of these brochures (available in English and 6 other languages).
  • Now that courthouses are reopened, if you need a protection order between 8:30am and 4:30pm, you can go to your local court. If you need a protection order outside of court hours, call your local police department. COVID-19-specific protective order resources, including a video on asking for a restraining order, are available here and FAQs regarding protection orders are available here. Additional safeguards are in place to ensure that emergency orders can be issued for elder neglect or abuse, child neglect or abuse, and neglect or abuse of persons with disabilities.
  • Check with individual community-based organizations such as DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended) to learn how they are operating.
  • The Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence has a 24-hour multilingual hotline and offers resources, safety planning, and support.
  • The Community Advocacy Program based at several Boston health centers is offering phone consultation 8am-5pm Mon.-Fri. in English, Cape Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese
  • The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance offers free resources for victims, survivors, and providers at (844) 878-MOVA or mass.gov/askMOVA.
  • If you have experienced sexual violence, you can get access to confidential services, including a sexual assault kit, at no cost by contacting Jane Doe, Inc. at (617) 248-0922.
  • YWCA Central Massachusetts offers a 24-Hour Helpline at (508) 755-9030 and online chat to provide support, advocacy, referrals, safety planning, and crisis intervention.
  • The Network/LaRed is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other communities. Call the 24-hour hotline at (617) 742-4911 for support, information, referrals, safety planning, and crisis information for LGBTQ+ survivors.
  • Certified Intimate Partner Abuse Education Program (IPAEP) Services aim to hold individuals who use violence in their relationships accountable for their actions and to help them change their behavior.
  • Transition House offers a list of resources, including services for abusive partners, for seniors, and for children who witness violence.
  • Police brutality is an interpersonal safety issue. Recent MA police reform legislation created a civilian-led commission with the power to certify officers, investigate claims of misconduct, and revoke the certification officers for certain violations. The law also bans the use of choke holds and limits the use of “no-knock” warrants, among other measures. A special commission created by the police accountability law recently released recommendations offering guidance to officers during interactions with children, including children in Black communities.

The Breakdown:

  • The SafeLink 24/7 statewide helpline can be reached at (877) 785-2020 or by online chat to address intimate partner violence. Mass211.org also lists domestic violence resources by region.
  • MA crime victims and survivors of domestic violence may be eligible for Lifeline voice or broadband internet service.

The Bottom Line:

  • SafeLink, the MA statewide domestic violence hotline, operates 24/7 (at 877-785-2020 and by online chat) and offers COVID-19 resources as well as supportive services to survivors of intimate partner violence.
  • Outreach directly to agencies to learn of new resources and evolving best practices:
    • Child neglect/abuse: The Department of Children and Families (DCF) offers COVID-19 resources and information. Learn how to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
    • Elder neglect/abuse reporting is conducted by phone or online (online reporting guide). The state has developed a specific nursing home resource page for people concerned about their loved ones isolated in long term care facilities during COVID-19.
    • Report neglect/abuse of persons with disabilities by phone to the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) hotline: 800-426-9009. The MA Coalition of Families and Advocates (COFAR) maintains a COVID-19 resource page relating to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the care of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). COFAR works to improve protections for residents who live in staffed group homes and who remain particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure and the trauma of social isolation from loved ones.
    • DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended) offers a 24-Hour Hotline at (617) 471-1234, a host of COVID-19 resources as well as tailored information for teens and young adults, legal advocacy resources, LGBTQ+ resources, and general domestic and intimate partner violence information.