Protection From Abuse
A protection from abuse order is a paper that is signed by a judge and tells an abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence to both female and male victims.
PLA helps clients obtain protection from abuse orders. We do not represent defendants in protection from abuse cases.
How to get help with Protection From Abuse
The following departments at PLA provide legal assistance with Protection From Abuse:
Call the Family Law Intake Line at 215.981.3838 on Monday or Wednesday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Callers are not able to leave a message. The Family Law Intake Line may be closed early if call volume is high.
Assistance for immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault is available from PLA's Immigrant Women's Legal Assistance Hotline, which assists callers with legal problems including divorce, custody, child/spousal support, protection from abuse, and immigration. Speakers of languages other than English and Spanish may leave a message with the Immigrant Women's Legal Assistance Hotline by calling 215.981.3838 at any time.
See the First Judicial District's court forms page for PDF court forms for use in custody, support, and protection from abuse cases.
Individuals and families who receive cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program are required to apply for child or spousal support unless excused "for good cause." This brochure explains how TANF recipients may be excused from this requirement if filing for support could lead to violence.
A 54-page guide and an on-line quiz for teen parents about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to paternity, child custody, child support, protection from abuse, and emancipation.
This is a list of organizations that provide assistance with family law cases.
The Women's Law Project offeres a variety of self-help materials in the area of Family Law.
This video explains the court process for obtaining a Protection From Abuse Order. Developed by Philadelphia Legal Assistance as part of its Make Your Case video series.
These brochures provide basic information about how to obtain a Protection From Abuse order in Philadelphia.
This brochure provides suggestions on staying safe if you are in or have left an abusive relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
A protection from abuse order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by family or household members, sexual or intimate partners, or someone with whom you have a child in common.
You can file your petition for a protection from abuse order with the Court of Common Pleas in the county where you live (permanently or temporarily), where you work, in any county where the abuser can be served (i.e., where s/he lives or works), or in the county where the abuse took place.
Deeya Haldar is the co-supervisor of the Drexel Civil Litigation Field Clinic.