The new domestic violence law in Massachusetts is often triggered only when the defendant and the victim have a domestic relationship. The law uses the same definition as the one found in the restraining order statute (General Law 209A, Sections1). It applies to people who:

(a) are or were married to one another;

(b) are or were residing together in the same household;

(c) are or were related by blood or marriage;

(d) having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together; or

(e) are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship, which shall be adjudged by district, probate or Boston municipal courts consideration of the following factors:

(1) the length of time of the relationship;
(2) the type of relationship;
(3) the frequency of interaction between the parties; and
(4) if the relationship has been terminated by either person,
the length of time elapsed since the termination of the
relationship.