In early November, multiple news outlets, including ABC 27, reported on a domestic violence case that resulted in a husband and father receiving 11 to 24 years in state prison due to numerous domestic violence cases, including the strangulation of his wife and two counts of simple assault of his son. As noted by Pennlive.com, the man was also sentenced to three counts of terroristic threats for stating that he intended to “kill every single person in the home except for my two daughters,” among other threatening statements. Adams County police also reported additional child abuse incidents.
Unfortunately, while there were previous calls made to law enforcement about the family, it does not appear that the wife or children were protected under a PFA order, an order that restrains abusers from having contact with victims in domestic violence matters. If you are being emotionally, psychologically, or physically abused and threatened and need help getting a PFA order, our LLF Law Firm Family Law Team can help. Contact us today at 888-535-3686 or by utilizing our online form.
Domestic Violence, Defined
Although many people only think of Domestic Violence as physical violence in a relationship, it can take many forms between spouses, partners, and family members. The Office on Violence Against Women offers a thoughtful definition of domestic violence, defining it as a “pattern of abusive behavior . . . that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control . . . including threats or other coercive behaviors . . . that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.”
Pennsylvania's laws on domestic violence echo this definition under Title 23, Section 6102 of the state's criminal code. These statutes define domestic violence as abusive acts between members of the same family, members of the same household, sexual or intimate partners, or co-parents.
What Is a PFA Order?
Restraining orders in Pennsylvania are called “PFA” or Protection From Abuse orders. Although each PFA order varies from case to case and the needs of the victim, they typically restrict the defendant from contacting the victim(s), being in or near their home, and coming in or near their place of work.
PFA orders are issued temporarily for ten days, pending a further hearing that allows both sides to present their side of the story to the court. After this hearing, the court can terminate the temporary PFA order or issue a “finalized” one that lasts three years.
The Benefits of Getting a PFA Order
First and foremost, a PFA can offer someone peace of mind and empowerment over the situation. PFA orders can also be shared with schools, places of work, etc., allowing victims to share the order with security personnel who can also be on the lookout for the abuser. In instances where the abuser breaks a PFA order, victims can be assured that the law does not take these violations lightly and that their abuser could undoubtedly face jail time for doing so.
If You Are Suffering in Your Relationship, We Can Help
Domestic violence is a profoundly complex and multifaceted issue, demanding not only empathy and understanding but a realistic and concrete path forward for you and your family. Contact our LLF Law Firm Family Law Team today via 888-535-3686 or by using our online contact form.