WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Maine

Restraining Orders

View all
Laws current as of
November 28, 2023

What is the legal definition of abuse in Maine?

For the purposes of filing for a protection from abuse order, Maine law defines “abuse” in two ways:

1. It is the occurrence of one or more of the following acts committed against you or your minor child by a family or household member or dating partner:

  • attempting to cause or causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact;
  • attempting to cause or causing sexual assault;
  • stalking as defined by law;
  • attempting to place or placing another person in fear of bodily injury by threatening, harassing or tormenting;
  • forcing a person to do things that the person has a right not to do;
  • forcing a person not to do things that the person has a right to do;
  • substantially restricting the movements of a person without lawful authority by:
    • removing a person from his/her home, business or school without consent or lawful authority;
    • moving a person a substantial distance; or
    • confining a person;
  • threatening a crime of violence that places the person in reasonable fear that the crime will be committed;
  • repeatedly and without reasonable cause, following a person or being at or in the vicinity of the person’s home, school, business or place of employment;
  • engaging in the unauthorized dissemination of certain private images;
  • engaging in aggravated sex trafficking or sex trafficking; and
  • these additional acts committed against minors only:

2. “Abuse” is also defined as occurrence of one or more of the following acts committed by anyone against an adult or minor, regardless of your relationship to him/her:

Note: If someone is at least 60 years of age, a “dependent adult,” or an incapacitated adult, and is being abused by an extended family member or an unpaid care provider, see our Protection from Abuse Orders (for elderly/disabled) page for more information on the additional definitions of abuse for these victims.3

If you are being harassed in a way that is not listed above, you may be eligible for a protection from harassment order. See our Protection from Harassment Orders section for more information.

1 ME ST T. 19-A §§ 4102(1); 4103(1)
2 ME ST T. 19-A § 4103(1), (2)
3 ME ST T. 19-A § 4103(3)