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What is a PFA (Protection From Abuse Order)?

A PFA is a Petition for Protection From Abuse. This is available even if there is no separation and no divorce filed. A PFA is to protect a spouse from abuse from the other spouse, from a family member, or from an intimate partner, even if you are not married. The Pennsylvania PFA Act is set forth in 23 Pa.C.S. Section 6101 et. seq.

The PFA Act defines abuse as:

  • Causing or trying to cause physical harm, whether or not any weapon is involved;
  • Rape or sexual assault;
  • Physical or sexual abuse of minor children;
  • Putting someone in reasonable fear of immediate and serious physical harm
  • Following someone around (stalking) or repeatedly committing other acts that cause the person reasonable fear of bodily injury; or,
  • Interfering with a person’s freedom of movement.