The core concept of the family is a sacred cornerstone of the American way of life. It’s the notion that two partners can come together, have children, and provide a safe, loving environment in which those children can grow, and mutual relationships based on trust, love and learning blossom among everyone within that family.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes people start families before they are ready, or for the wrong reasons, and everyone suffers, even the children. Fortunately, the state of Pennsylvania has little tolerance for people that don’t take their family responsibilities seriously, and if you feel you and your children are in a harmful, potentially dangerous situation, there is a measure known as Protection From Abuse that a family lawyer and the Pennsylvania court can enact on your behalf.

Legally Enforced Safety

Protection From Abuse is exactly what it sounds like. If you feel that you or your children are under threat from physical, sexual or psychological abuse, you have the right to a court order barring the abusive partner from interacting with you or the children.

There are three levels of PFA. An emergency order for severe instances where intervention is required because of immediate threat There is an “Ex parte” temporary PFA, that goes into effect until a final court date is set to deal with a case against the spouse. Lastly, there is the “Final” PFA, which is a court order against the offending partner for three years, or longer, depending on the circumstances.

Protection From Abuse offers many privileges, including the abuser being barred from abuse, harassment, or stalking you and the children. Confiscation of the abuser’s firearms and ammunition. Financial compensation for abuse, such as medical bills, relocation, or other factors. Removal of the abuser from the home, and, under certain circumstances, even have the abuser removed when they are owners of the home, or work out another arrangement where they provide alternative shelter.

These conditions vary from case to case, but the underlying principle is the same. Everyone, especially children, should be safe. If you and your children are not safe, contact the authorities immediately, then seek out a Family Law Attorney to see what kind of protection the court can give you.