Protection From Abuse Orders (PFA)
|A Protection From Abuse Order, or a PFA, is a civil court order for victims of Domestic Violence. This order is to refrain abusers from harming the victim(s), and can last for up to 3 years. There is no cost associated with obtaining a PFA, and the order my be enforced in another County. The Pennsylvania State Police maintain a registry of all Protection from Abuse orders issued throughout the Commonwealth. Police will enforce a valid PFA that is issued in any county in Pennsylvania. They are also enforceable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Tribal Islands, U.S. Territories and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
A Protection From Abuse Order can:
• Direct the abuser to not abuse, harass, threaten or stalk a victim or their relatives.
• Direct the abuser to stay away from the house or apartment where the victim lives; evict and/or exclude the abuser even if it is also their residency.
• Direct the abuser to stay away from the victim's school or place of employment.
• Prohibit the abuser from having any guns or gun permits.
• Direct the abuser to pay the victim from losses resulting from abuse; including medical bills and lost wages.
• Direct the abuser to attend a batterer's counseling program, drug and alcohol counseling and allow the judge to grant any other relief deemed necessary to bring an end to the abusive situation.
• Give temporary custody to the abused parent.
• Order support and child support.
How to You Obtain a PFA?
If you are in need of a PFA, or have any questions about Protection From Abuse Orders, please call the YWCA's Wise Options immediately to set up an appointment. 24 Hour Crisis Hotlines: 570-323-8167 or 800-326-8483.
Who Qualifies for a PFA?
A Protection From Abuse Order may be filed if the person who has or is trying to harm you is:
• or was your spouse;
• or was living with you in a common-law marriage or as your boyfriend/girlfriend;
• the parent of your child;
• your child;
• or was a sexual or intimate partner;
• your parent;
• related to you by blood or marriage.
What if the Abuser Violates the PFA?
If the abuser violates the PFA, the police should be contacted immediately to report the incident. An abuser charged with the contempt of a Protection From Abuse Order can face charges for the acts committed that were in violation of the order. The court can find the abuser in contempt and sentence him or her to prison for up to 6 months, supervised probation and a fine ranging from $300 to $1000.