Areas of Practice
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK PROTECTION FROM ABUSE?
Pennsylvania law has a lot of safeguards in place for the protection of women and children, and we urge you to take full of advantage of these safeguards if you have the grounds for it. One of these legal safeguards is a protection from abuse order, and it is a “ban” issued by a judge that prevents someone who is abusive from remaining in contact or proximity with people victimized by the abuse.
The important thing to understand about a PFA order is that the definition of abuse is a broad one. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this only applies to domestic violence incidents where beating is occurring. Abuse also includes psychological and sexual abuse of both you and the children. So even if there’s no physical harm that is occurring, if you are subjected to non-consensual sexual activity, or if the children are subjected to any sexual activity, this is grounds for abuse.
Psychological abuse is also covered under a PFA, with imprisonment also being considered legal grounds. The constant threat of physical violence against yourself or children, even without committing the act of violence still falls under this. When it comes to your own personal safety, always err on the side of caution. Do not ever take the stand, “It’s not that bad, it could be worse.” Any form of abuse is unacceptable, whether it is perpetrated on you, your children, or both.
Protect Yourself & Your Family
In a normal family environment, there is no pervading mood of shame or fear. If you find yourself living in fear of your spouse for what might be done to you or your children, you should consider getting a PFA. If you find that the activities your spouse commits are things you need to hide from others, or lie to them about, such as injuries on children or yourself, you should get a PFA.
This is a very serious situation that can negative long term effects on you and your children. A PFA can stop the immediate problem, so you can work on a long term solution of overcoming this hardship. An experienced lawyer will be more than happy to guide you through this.