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Filing for a Protection From Abuse order

In a situation where you, and perhaps also your children, have been suffering from abuse at the hands of a person close to you, such as your former partner or your parent, there are protections in place to enable you to live your life in safety.

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) order is a court order that can legally protect you from mental and physical abuse by a specific person for up to three years. It places a set of restrictions and orders on the abuser to force him or her to discontinue the abuse. These orders create disincentives in the form of criminal charges if the abuser breaks any of these requirements.

How would I qualify for a PFA order?

PFA orders are only available to be used for people within your family that are being abusive toward you. This can relate to almost any family member, whether related by blood or not.

It could be used to seek protection from parents, children or siblings, but it most often is sought as protection from a former partner, whether that means an ex spouse or former sexual partner. PFAs can be used as protection for those in an abusive same sex relationship, too.

How do I file for a PFA?

The PFA Act is part of Pennsylvania law, however the route to filing can be different in every country. The general process includes filing a petition with the court, after which a hearing will be arranged.

If you are suffering from domestic abuse in Pennsylvania, it is important to know that there is protection available. Take the legal steps you need to in order to get protection from abusive relationships.

Source: PCADV, "Protection from Abuse Orders," accessed March 23, 2018

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