Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence

“On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year”[1].

See something, say something. Speak up and speak out. 

Please know that you are not alone. Please seek support and assistance.

 

SAFE BERKS - 24/7 Hotline: 844-789-SAFE or Text SAFE BERKS to 20121

 COUNTY OF BERKS COURTHOUSE - OPEN 24/7 for EMERGENCY PFAs

ABUSE CAN TAKE MANY FORMS

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TYPES OF PROTECTION ORDERS AVAILABLE IN PENNSYLVANIA

PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ORDER (PFA)

WHAT IS A PFA?

  • A Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) is a civil order that provides protection from harm by family or household members, sexual or intimate partners, or someone with whom you have a child in common. A PFA can extend for a period of up to three years.

 

WHO CAN FILE ONE?

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  • A person can file for a PFA order from the court for themselves, or on behalf of their minor children. A PFA describes various types of protections for the victim. For example, a PFA order can make it illegal for the abuser to contact, harass and abuse the victim and the victim’s children, it may order the abuser to return personal property. An abusers violation of a PFA may result in criminal charges[2].

  •  PFA Orders are free for the person seeking protection. In most cases, the defendant will have to pay for all or part of the PFA process. Otherwise, the county must pay.

PROTECTION FROM SEXUAL VIOLENCE OR INTIMIDATION ORDER

WHAT IS A PROTECTION FROM SEXUAL VIOLENCE OR INTIMIDATION ORDER?

  • A civil order that provides protection for victims of sexual violence or intimidation that can be filed against someone who is not a family or household member or intimate partner.

 WHO CAN FILE ONE?

  • For the purpose of getting a Protection from Sexual Violence or Intimidation Order, the abuser must have committed one of two crimes against you: “sexual violence” or “intimidation” (although the abuser does not have to be arrested/reported to the police).

PROTECTION ORDER PROCESS

WHERE CAN YOU FILE A PROTECTION ORDER?

  • PFA Office - Berks County Services Center - 633 Court Street, 1st Floor

  • The PFA Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The PFA FILING hours are 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. After PFA filing hours, PFA staff can assist you with applying for an Emergency PFA from the local Magisterial District Judge or you can go to Reading Central Court on the 1st floor of the Courthouse after 6:00 p.m. weekdays and on weekends or holidays.

 STEPS FOR GETTING A PROTECTION ORDER

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 PROTECTION ORDER HEARING PROCESS

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This service is for general legal information only and does not contain legal advice.  Using this site does not form an attorney/client relationship.  This information is provided as a public service, and you should not act or refrain from acting based upon anything you read on the MLP Monologue. While we strive to provide current and accurate information, all of the information provided by the MLP Monologue is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, whether expressed or implied. If you are in need of legal advice, contact the Berks Bar Association (610-375-4591) or MidPenn Legal (610-376-8656).