What is a PFA?
A Protection from Abuse order (PFA) is a document that is signed by a judge that tells the alleged abuser to
stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic
violence to both female and male victims.
In Pennsylvania, there are a few different types of PFAs. The type of PFA you may be granted
depends upon a judge's assessment of the facts of your case. The judge bases a decision about your need for protection on those facts.
How can a Protection from Abuse Order protect me?
A protection from abuse order can offer the following protections for you and your children. It
- Order the abuser not to abuse, harass, or stalk you, your relatives or your minor children
- Order the abuser to be removed from the home where you both live and grant you
possession of the home. *NOTE: Under certain circumstances, if you are living in a home of which the abuser is the only owner or tenant, the judge can still remove the abuser from the home or, with your consent, order him to provide you with suitable alternate housing.
- Award temporary custody or temporary visitation rights of your minor children
- Order the abuser to pay financial support (including medical bills, health insurance, rent or mortgage payments) to you or your children
- Prohibit the abuser from having any contact with you or minor children, including staying away from your or your child's place of employment or business or school
- Order the abuser to turn any of his firearms, other weapons, and ammunition to the sheriff or police, if he used or threatened to use them during the abuse, and prohibit him from getting additional firearms
- Order the abuser to pay you for reasonable losses resulting from the abuse (this may include the cost of medical/dental care, relocation and moving expenses, attorney and counseling costs, as well as loss of earnings or support)
- Grant any other appropriate relief you request