How Can I Obtain a PFA

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) is a special restraining order given by the court. In Pennsylvania, victims of domestic violence can get protection orders under a law called the Protection From Abuse Act.

What Types of Protection Can You Get in a PFA Order?

  • Direct the abuser not to abuse, threaten, harass or stalk you
  • Evict or exclude the abuser from your residence
  • Prohibit the abuser from contacting you
  • Grant you temporary custody of your minor children
  • Grant you temporary child/spousal support
  • Prohibit the abuser from having any weapons and/or gun permit
  • Direct the abuser to attend a batterers counseling program
  • Direct the abuser to reimburse you for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses that were incurred as a result of the abuse
  • Allow the judge to grant any other relief deemed appropriate to stop the abuse

What is Considered Abuse Under the Protection From Abuse Act? 

  • Causing or attempting to cause bodily injury
  • Placing someone in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Physically or sexually abusing a child
  • Repeatedly committing acts which place an individual in fear of bodily injury
  • Interfering with an individual's freedom of movement

What if the Abuser Violates the PFA? 

  • Call the police
  • The police can arrest the abuser and a contempt hearing will be held
  • If found in contempt of the PFA Order, the abuser can be fined up to $1,000.00 and/or incarcerated for up to six months.

How Can You Get a PFA Order?

The Dauphin County Victim Witness Program can assist you in filing for a Protection From Abuse Order. Call (717) 780-7075. They are located in the Dauphin County Human Services Building, 25 S. Front Street, 7th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101 (next to the courthouse).

If you require immediate or emergency protection during the night, on weekends, or during hours when the courthouse is closed, you should contact the emergency on-call advocate with Dauphin County Victim Witness at (717) 780-7077.