Last updated on 4/2/2020

In order to prioritize the health and safety of survivors, volunteers and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center is changing the way we currently offer our services. Beginning Monday March 16, our physical offices in Newburyport, Amesbury and Lawrence will be closed, with tentative plans to reopen Monday, May 4.

During this time, we will offer virtual support in Survivor Services, including advocacy, counseling, legal assistance and support groups. While social distancing is important during this outbreak, we know that this will be an especially hard time for those who experience domestic violence. We will do everything we can to continue to provide our services to those that need it.

As always, our 24/7 Confidential Hotline is available at (978) 388-1888; (800) 439-0183 (TTY)

Below, you can find updates for each of our programs, and details on how our services will be offered during this time. We are monitoring COVID-19 day-by-day and will update this page on an ongoing basis.

Survivor Services

Periods of crisis like this can be particularly unsafe for survivors, some of whom may be forced into close contact with an abusive partner, and many of whom will face additional financial hardships.

Advocacy, Counseling and Legal Services

During this time, our team will be offering phone-based support to new and existing survivors including advocacy, counseling, legal assistance and support groups. The team will have uninterrupted access to email and voicemail while working remotely during regular business hours.

How to Contact Us: Staff can be reached at (978) 834-9710 (Amesbury office) or (978) 989-9361 (Children’s Trauma Program), where you will be directed by an automatic greeting to leave a voicemail for the person you are trying to reach. Staff will then receive voicemails remotely within moments and will return your call. You can also contact our Survivor Services email at gethelp@jeannegeiger.org. As always, our 24/7 Confidential Hotline is available: (978) 388-1888; (800) 439-0183 (TTY).

Children’s Trauma Program

Our Children’s Trauma Program will provide phone support to parents, and emergent child survivor needs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Court Advocacy

Currently, the Massachusetts Courts are closed to the public until at least May 4, 2020. Emergency matters only are being heard by video or telephone conference. The Standing Orders define what is an emergency matter in each department of the Court.  Follow this link to read the Standing Orders for each of the Trial Courts in their entirety.

Click here for the most up-to-date information from mass.gov.

The Courts have opened a helpline for people navigating their cases during this difficult time. It is staffed from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday and can be reached by calling 833-91COURT. Please follow this link for more information.

For more on Court Advocacy, see the bottom of this page or click here.

Youth Empowerment Services

Our prevention programs in area schools are suspended during the mandatory statewide school closings, currently in effect until May 4.

Girls Inc. of the Seacoast Area

Girls Inc. of the Seacoast Area programming is also suspended during the mandatory statewide school closings. For questions, please contact the Girls Inc. Program Director Danielle at dlittles@girlsincseacoast.org

Intimate Partner Abuse Education Program (IPAEP)

IPAEP groups will start meeting virtually via conference call the week of March 23. For more information, please contact Michele at mpenta@jeannegeiger.org

Events hosted by the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center

8th Annual White Ribbon Breakfast

Our event scheduled for March 24 is canceled. We are exploring creative solutions to host a virtual event at a tentative date of May 6. For more information, click here.

Domestic Violence Advocacy Training

Our 30-hour Domestic Violence Advocacy Training scheduled for early April will be rescheduled for a later date, to be announced. For more information on the training, click here.

Intimate Partner Abuse Education Program Training

This 3-day training series is still scheduled for June. Click here to download a PDF of the flyer for more information.

Center Spotlights

Our March and April Center Spotlights have been canceled. We tentatively plan to host the next Center Spotlight on May 5.

Volunteering

In our efforts to keep our volunteers healthy, we are currently getting remote support for our Hotline only at this time. For those looking to join our Volunteer Program in the future, stay tuned for a rescheduled Domestic Violence Advocacy Training later this year. Questions on the Volunteer Program can be sent to Heather at hwiles@jeannegeiger.org

COURT INFORMATION

The following is a summary of information regarding the Courts during the COVID-19 outbreak. This information is not legal advice.  It shall not be taken as legal advice or substituted for legal advice.  The content provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Before you make any decision that may have legal implications, you should consult with a qualified legal professional for specific legal advice tailored to your situation.

APPLYING FOR AN ABUSE PREVENTION ORDER

If you need to apply for an Abuse Prevention Order between the hours of 8:30AM and 4:30PM, Monday through Friday, you can call the District Court or Probate and Family Court to talk to Court staff about how to proceed.  If you need to apply for an Abuse Prevention Order outside of the hours of 8:30AM to 4:30PM you can contact the Police Department and use the existing afterhours Judicial Response System.

The following information is from the Standing Orders currently in effect for the District and Probate and Family Courts:

District Court Information

Those emergency matters to be heard by video conference or telephonic conference include emergency abuse prevention orders and initial hearing after notice and emergency harassment prevention orders and initial hearing after notice…

  1. All emergency protection orders (G.L. c. 209A; c. 258E; c. 140) issued after notice prior to the issuance of this order and  that are due to expire  on or after March 18, 2020, shall remain in effect until the matter is rescheduled and hear d by the court.
  2. Any orders issued prior to March 18th with a hearing scheduled during the pendency of this Order are to remain in full force and effect until the matter is rescheduled and heard by the court, unless an order issues by the court terminating the order at an earlier date.

Probate and Family Court Information

  1. All restraining order requests and requests for orders to vacate and their initial return dates, including return dates when service has not happened, will be heard by telephone or video conference.
  2. All emergency protection orders (G. L. c. 209A; G. L. c. 208, § 34B) issued at a hearing after notice before the Standing Order that are due to expire on or after March 16, 2020 will remain in effect until the matter is rescheduled and heard by the Probate and Family Court.

If you have a scheduled court date you can call the Court regarding the hearing.

District Courts

  • Newburyport (978) 462-2652
  • Ipswich (978) 462-2652
  • Haverhill (978) 521-7300
  • Lawrence (978) 687-7184

Essex County Probate and Family Court

  • Salem (978) 744-1020
  • Lawrence (978) 686-9692