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In Turner, we recognized the changing nature of the concept of “family,” as well as the Legislature's clear intent to extend protections to victims who experience violence beyond the context of the traditional “family.” See id. The Legislature intended to encompass a variety of relationships within G. However, the Legislature has consistently broadened the definition of “family or household member,” and consequently expanded the scope of G. In 1978, the statute defined “[f]amily or household member” as a “household member, a spouse, former spouse or their minor children or blood relative.” St.1978, c. In 1986, the definition of “family or household member” was expanded to include a “former household member” and a “person who, though unrelated by blood or marriage, is a parent of the plaintiff's minor child.” St.1986, c. In 1990, the Legislature once again amended the definition of “family or household member” to its present form. He was suspended from high school as a result of the arrest. The defendant further asks this court to clarify the meaning of “substantive dating relationship” in G. We believe that the Legislature drafted the statute with purposeful flexibility in its definitions, and we acknowledge that intent by declining the invitation to add elements to the Legislature's definition. 209A, § 1 (e ) (1)-(4), while keeping in mind the statute's protective purpose. 209A abuse prevention order on the bases that (1) the plaintiff failed to meet her burden of establishing the existence of a “substantive dating or engagement relationship” as required by G. After reviewing the parties' briefs and hearing oral argument, this court issued an order vacating the abuse prevention order. Shortly after the alleged incident, the plaintiff filed a complaint and supporting affidavit on behalf of her daughter and obtained an ex parte abuse prevention order against the defendant pursuant to G. One day after an ex parte emergency temporary abuse prevention order was issued, see G. The defendant was arraigned on these charges and subsequently released on bail. The defendant maintains that the plaintiff failed to show the existence of a “substantive dating relationship” between him and the plaintiff's daughter, and that, consequently, the abuse prevention order against him was improperly issued and extended. We need not add to this language by interpretation. 209A is to provide “a statutory mechanism by which victims of family or household abuse can enlist the aid of the State to prevent further abuse”).
Had the Legislature intended to further limit the scope of “substantive dating or engagement relationship,” it would have included any such limitation in the text of the statute.
Rather than establishing a rigid test to be applied to all relationships, the statute directs courts to “adjudge[ ]” the existence of substantive dating relationships by considering four 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.” G.
209A, § 1, now defines “[f]amily or household members” as “persons 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 [sic ] 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 ․” (emphasis added). It is not our role to impose additional constraints on the interpretive instructions provided by the Legislature.
In acknowledging the possibility of simultaneous “substantive dating relationships,” we recognized the need for flexibility in applying the statute.
E.2d 295 (1994) (person may be in more than one “substantive dating relationship” at any given time). E.2d 122, in which we broadly interpreted “related by blood,” as set forth in G.