No contact and protective orders

What is a no contact order?

A no contact order is issued by your School or unit and is designed to limit or prohibit contact or communications between or among individuals. No contact orders generally are mutual, meaning that they restrict each party from contacting, or communicating with, the other. The Title IX Coordinator for your School or unit can provide you more information about no contact orders.

What is an abuse prevention order?

The following information is taken directly from the Massachusetts Court System website:

How do I request a court-issued restraining order in Massachusetts?

There are two different types of civil restraining orders in Massachusetts:

1. Abuse Prevention Orders (Massachusetts domestic violence law, Chapter 209A)

Limited to someone with whom you have a specific types of relationship (family, intimate, residential).

You may ask for an Abuse Prevention Order (a “209A Order”) from a judge if:

1. If the person abusing you is:

  • A person to whom you are or were married;

  • Someone with whom you are or were living;

  • A family member related by blood or marriage;

  • The parent of your child even if you were never married; or

  • Someone with whom you are or have been in a serious dating relationship.

2. And you are suffering from abuse because your abuser has:

  • Harmed or attempted to harm you physically;

  • Caused you to fear that you are likely to be physically hurt at any moment; or

  • Forced you to have sex or threatened you into having sex.

2. Harassment Prevention Orders (Massachusetts harassment prevention law, Chapter 258E)

Not limited to specific types of relationships.   

You may ask for a Harassment Prevention Order (a “258E Order”) from a judge if:

You are suffering from harassment because:

  • Someone has committed 3 or more acts:

    • that were willful and malicious.  This means it was done on purpose and was done for cruelty, hostility or revenge.

    • and were aimed at you,

    • and were intended to cause you fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property, “Abuse” means causing or attempting to cause physical harm, or causing fear of imminent serious physical harm.

    • and did in fact cause you fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property;

  • Or someone has forced you to have sex or threatened you into having sex at least once,

  • Or someone has committed one of the following crimes against you at least once:

    • indecent assault and battery

    • rape

    • statutory rape

    • assault with intent to rape

    • enticement of a child

    • criminal stalking

    • criminal harassment or

    • drugging for sexual intercourse


If I hold an abuse prevention order, how can Harvard help me? 

Harvard complies with Massachusetts law in recognizing abuse prevention orders and other valid protection orders from Massachusetts or other states.

If you obtain a protective order from domestic or dating abuse, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault from any state in the United States, you should provide a copy to HUPD and to your Title IX Coordinator. HUPD will attempt to serve the protective orders on defendants and will arrest people who violate protective orders on campus. You can provide HUPD with a copy of an active protective order that already was served so that information about the victim and the defendant are made part of HUPD’s record management system and can be shared with all HUPD officers.

If you have a protective order, you may meet with an HUPD officer to develop a safety action plan. Coordinating with your School or unit Title IX Coordinator and other University officers, HUPD will help to put in place safety measures that may include, but are not limited to:

  • the use of a temporary escort
  • special parking arrangements
  • changing classroom location
  • changing supervisor
  • changing work location
  • allowing a student to complete assignments from home, depending on the course

The University cannot apply for an abuse prevention order, no contact order, or restraining order, but can assist a person in obtaining such an order.

If you have a protective order, you may meet with an HUPD officer to develop a safety action plan for your time at Harvard.