Abuse & Harassment (Protection Orders)
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF VIOLENCE, ABUSE OR HARASSMENT AND BELIEVE YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER CALL 9-1-1.
How law enforcement can help
Maine law enforcement officers receive special training to assist victims of domestic violence to prevent further abuse. Officers may:
- Give the victim written information about domestic violence help that is available locally, and how to file a protection from abuse case;
- Remain on the scene of the alleged abuse as long as the officer reasonably believes there is a danger to the physical safety of the victim without the officer being there; and/or
- Assist the victim in obtaining medical treatment caused by the abuse, including driving the victim to the nearest hospital emergency room.
An officer may arrest an individual with or without a warrant if the officer reasonably believes that a violation of a previously granted temporary or final protection from abuse order has occurred. The violation of the order does not need to have taken place in the presence of the officer.
The Maine Department of Health and Humans Services maintains a list of resources for victims available at www.maine.gov/dhhs.
- If you are a victim of violence, abuse, or harassment and believe you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
- If you are worried for yourself or for someone else, please consider contacting the following resources. By contacting the following, you will be connected to an advocate.
- Statewide Domestic Abuse Helpline: 1-866-834-HELP (free and confidential). Hearing impaired line: 1-800-437-1220.
- Statewide Sexual Assault Helpline: 1-800-871-7741 (free and confidential)
- Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
- Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault,
- An advocate is a trained person who can:
- Give information about protection orders and help you understand what happens in court
- Help with court paperwork and find legal help
- Give you support and information
- Help with other services like housing, counseling, support groups, and mental health help
- Help with safety planning
- Provide information on how to file if you are under 18
- To learn more, please review the court’s "Guide to Protection from Abuse and Harassment Cases." You can access this guide on the court’s website or request a copy from the clerk at the courthouse. The guide contains information for both plaintiffs and defendants.
- Maine Lawyer Referral Service ($25 for a 30-minute consultation with an attorney):
- Maine Adult Protective Services arranges for services to protect incapacitated and dependent adults (age 18 and over) in danger of abuse, neglect or exploitation. The adult abuse hotline number: 1-800-624-8404 or Maine Relay 711.
- Maine Child and Family Services in the Department of Health and Human Services protects children from abuse and neglect. The 24- hour hotline to report suspected abuse or neglect is 1-800-452- 1999 or Maine Relay 711.