Recent news reports say Protection from Abuse orders (PFAs), which protect victims of domestic violence, are up in Pennsylvania, increasing 12% from 2020 to 2021.The number rose from 34,678 to 38,765 new petitions requesting relief under the PFA Act.

Over 38,000 petitioners requested PFAs in 2021, and 90% were granted. Philadelphia County ranked the highest at 19%, followed by Allegheny County at 9% and Delaware County at 5%. Plaintiffs, or those requesting the court order, failed to show up in court in a quarter of the cases. Another 23% withdrew their petitions, and five percent of cases had a final order denied. The number of PFAs in 2021 was similar to levels in 2017 and 2018. Numbers were slightly higher in 2019 before a drop in 2020.

A PFA order can remove the abuser from your home, even if he or she is the only titled owner. It can also prohibit the abuser from having any contact with you or your children, and to pay financial support, including medical bills, health insurance and rent or mortgage payments. A final PFA order requires an abuser to give up any firearms and license, and stop harassing, stalking, threatening or abusing you or your minor children in any way.

There are several other important considerations with PFAs. The best way to navigate what can be a complicated process is to consult an experienced protection from abuse attorney in Pennsylvania who knows how to navigate the courts and fulfill the requirements to get you the legal protection you need. We can help. Contact us at 215-340-2207 or email