Protection from Abuse Orders

A Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) is a civil court order for individuals experiencing domestic violence. This order is to refrain people who abuse others 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 may 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.

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 1- 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.
• Order support and child support.


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 the person who abused the survivor 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 $1,000.

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