Domestic Violence / Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP)

Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP)

Domestic Violence Resources FlierThe DVIP is an early intervention program designed to coordinate the efforts of police, advocates, court personnel and batterer's intervention programs. Specially trained advocates from local battered women's programs (NELCWIT and Safe Passage) are immediately available following a domestic violence incident. Police departments, in Franklin and Hampshire County and the Town of Athol, contact an on-call advocate who in turn contacts the victim.

Advocates offer victims immediate support, safety information and referrals for counseling, shelter and/or legal advocacy. Representatives from the local batterer's intervention program (Moving Forward) are also available to meet with offenders in court at the time of arraignment. Offenders receive information about their responsibilities under the law and available batterer's intervention groups.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is a violent confrontation between family or household members involving physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm. Family or household members include spouses / former spouses, those in (or formerly in) a dating relationship, adults related by blood or marriage, and those who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship.

The batterer uses acts of violence and a series of behaviors, including intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, and isolation to coerce and to control the other person. The violence may not happen often, but may remain a hidden and constant terrorizing factor. Domestic violence is not only physical and sexual violence but also psychological. Psychological violence means intense and repetitive degradation, creating isolation, and controlling the actions or behaviors of the spouse through intimidation or manipulation to the detriment of the individual.

Domestic violence destroys the home. No one deserves to be abused. The responsibility for the violence belongs to the abuser. It is not the victim's fault!

Symptoms of Abuse - Misuse of Power & Control

Abuse in a relationship is any act used to gain power and control over another person. People who are abused physically are often isolated. Their partners tend to control their lives to a great extent as well as verbally degrade them.

Domestic violence is not caused or provoked by the action or inaction of the victim. If you think you are being abused ask yourself the following questions:

Does your partner or household member:

Do you:

  • Sometimes feel scared of how your partner or household member will react?
  • Make excuses for his/her behavior?
  • Try not to do anything that will make him/her angry?
  • Risk Assessment: Victim (PDF)

If any of these things are happening to you, we encourage you to call the police in the city or town where the abuse happened. Restraining orders are available at local courts during business hours, with advocates in the court to help you seek an order. After hours, with the help of the police, you can seek an order through the Emergency Response System. A restraining order can order the abuser not to contact you, to remain away from your home, and to stay away from you and your school or place of employment. It gives police the power to make an immediate arrest if there is evidence that the abuser violated the order.

Why Get Help?

The danger is real.

If you are controlling or have a controlling partner, don't ignore these behaviors. They are not the result of stress, anger, drugs or alcohol. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to dominate, intimidate and manipulate. They are destructive and dangerous.

If the abuse continues without outside help, the abusing partner may risk being arrested, going to jail, or losing the relationship.

Domestic violence hurts all family members. When a person is abusive he or she eventually loses the trust and respect of his or her partner. Abused partners are afraid to communicate their feelings and needs.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in a relationship. With help, people who are abusive can learn to be non-violent.

Learn the Warning Signs

Disagreements develop from time to time in relationships. Domestic violence is not a disagreement. It is a whole pattern of behaviors used by one partner to establish and maintain power and control over the other. These behaviors can become more frequent and intense over time.

The abusive person is responsible for these behaviors. That person is the only one who can change them. Don't wait until you and the ones you love get hurt. You are not alone. Consider getting some help. Talk with friends about your situation.

Domestic Violence Resources

There are Domestic Violence programs that provide services to victims of domestic violence, including shelter, counseling, support groups, and legal assistance. All of the services are free and confidential, unless noted otherwise.

Chapter 260 of the Acts of 2014, the Act Relative to Domestic Violence, mandates that certain informational pamphlets be provided to both plaintiffs and defendants in domestic violence/abuse matters.

Plaintiff Brochures

The plaintiff brochures are entitled "Resources for Safety and Support" and include statewide and regional listings for domestic violence programs, sexual assault programs, child witness to violence programs, 24-hour Hotlines, and the local District Attorney's offices.

Plaintiff Brochure and Regional Inserts:

Defendant Brochures

The defendant brochures are entitled "Alternatives to Abuse" and include statewide and regional listings for career centers, substance abuse counseling, intimate partner abuse education programs, and Department of Transitional Assistance offices.

Defendant Brochure and Regional Inserts:

Brochures with Additional Information

Brochures are available with additional information and phone numbers to call for help.

Brochures in Spanish:

Information for Immigrants in other languages: