Protection from Abuse Orders
Protection From Abuse Orders, otherwise referred to as PFAs, are civil court orders for individuals experiencing domestic violence or other forms of assault. This order is to refrain the abuser from continuing to harm the victim(s). A PFA order can remain enforced for up to 3 years. There are no costs associated with obtaining a PFA and the order may be carry into other counties. The Pennsylvania State Police maintain a registry of all PFAs issued throughout the commonwealth and will enforce valid PFAs that are issued in any county throughout Pennsylvania. Most PFAs are enforceable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, tribal islands, U.S. Territories and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
How Do You Obtain A PFA?
To schedule a meeting with a trained staff member regarding your PFA filing, please call our 24-Hour Hotline (800)326-8483.
A PFA Can:
- Direct the person who abused the survivor to not abuse, harass, threaten or stalk a them or their relatives
- Direct the person who abused the survivor to stay away from their house or apartment where they live; evict and/or exclude the abuser even if it is also their residency
- Direct the person who abused the survivor to stay away from their school or place of employment
- Prohibit the person who abused the survivor from having any guns or gun permits
- Direct the person who abused the survivor to pay them for losses resulting from abuse including medical bills and lost wages
- Direct the person who abused the survivor 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 parent who experienced the abuse
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/was:
- your spouse
- living with you in a common-law marriage or as your significant other
- the parent of your child
- your child
- a sexual or intimate partner
- your parent
- related to you by blood or marriage.
What If The Abuser Violates The PFA?
If someone has violated a PFA, the police should be contacted immediately to report the incident. An abuser charged with the contempt of a PFA can face charges for the acts committed that were in violation of the order. Additionally, the court can find the abuser in contempt and sentence them to prison for up to 6 months, supervised probation and a fine ranging from $300 – 1,000.