Domestic violence in Norfolk County involves physical or psychological harm, attempts to inflict physical harm, and nonconsensual sexual relations to family and household members.
According to Massachusetts Law, family and household members include those who:
A law officer in Norfolk County who suspects that a family or household member has suffered abuse or is in danger of being abused is empowered by law to, within reason, do everything possible to prevent further abuse. This may include:
Domestic violence differs from other types of violence, including street crimes and aggravated assault. A significant distinguishing factor is that the victim and the accused person in domestic violence must be related as defined by the law.
According to the State Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, there were 17,079 domestic violence incidents in Norfolk County between July 2014 and June 2015. 5,206 of these incidents were recorded as crimes, while 11,873 were recorded as noncrime.
In 2019, law enforcement in Norfolk County recorded about 350 aggravated assault incidents where the victims were family or household members. These include:
Domestic violence is a crime in Norfolk County and should be reported to the police. In cases of emergencies, victims or other persons may call 911. Victims and interested parties may also contact the Police at
Norfolk Police Department
14 Sharon Avenue
Norfolk, MA 02056
Phone: (508) 528-3206 ( For non-emergencies)
Fax: (508) 520-9762
Additionally, various agencies and non-profit organizations in Norfolk County assist victims in getting protection and safety. SafeLink is a 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline for Massachusetts, and it’s available on (877) 785-2020.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing may dial 711 - MassRelay Service or the National Deaf Hotline on 1-855-812-1001. Alternatively, they may contact the National Deaf Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org, or chat online with the advocates.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline also offers assistance and safety planning 24/7. Victims or concerned parties may dial 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), TTY 1-800-787-3224. People who may be unable to speak safely may also chat with the advocates online.
A victim of domestic violence in Norfolk County should contact law enforcement at the earliest possible time after an incident. Under Massachusetts law, the time limit for domestic violence charges in Norfolk County varies depending on the actual charge. It generally ranges from six years to fifteen years. However, there are no time limits for certain domestic charges that involve a minor as the victim.
Any criminal act of abuse that a family or household member commits against another is considered domestic violence. Domestic violence may be emotional, physical, or sexual in nature. It may also involve economic control and neglect.
Other offenses that may be associated with domestic violence include violating a protective order, assault and battery, and stalking.
Victims of domestic violence, as well as their family members, are entitled by law to take time off from work without fear of repercussions. They may take up to 15 days of paid or unpaid leave to:
Seeking help from a qualified criminal defense attorney may give the accused a good chance of getting their charges dismissed, depending on the facts of the case and evidence available. Domestic abuse situations can be emotional and tense, but a defense attorney is professionally equipped to sift through facts and evidence collect relevant information to build a suitable argument on the accused’s behalf. Some of the defenses an attorney may present before the court include.
The penalties for domestic violence in Norfolk County range from jail time to probation and depend on the circumstances of the offense and the accused's record. Domestic violence may be charged and penalized in different ways, including:
If the victim does not show up at the trial for a domestic charge in Norfolk County, the prosecution may drop the charges. However, this is not always the case. Whether or not the domestic charge is dismissed depends on the circumstances of the case.
If the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence for the domestic violence charge, the court may dismiss the case. On the other hand, the prosecution may also subpoena the domestic violence victim to force them to appear in court and testify.