What protections can I get in a protection from abuse order?
A protection from abuse order can offer the following protections for you and your children. It can:
- order the abuser not to abuse, harass, stalk, threaten, or attempt or threaten to use physical force against you or your minor children;
- order the abuser to be removed from the home where you both live and grant you possession of the home; Note: Under certain circumstances, if you are living in a home where the abuser is the only owner or tenant, the judge can still remove the abuser from the home or, with your consent, order him/her to provide you with suitable alternate housing.
- award temporary custody or temporary visitation rights of your minor children;
- order the abuser to pay financial support (including medical bills, health insurance, rent or mortgage payments) to you or your children;
- prohibit the abuser from having any contact with you or minor children, including staying away from your or your child’s place of employment or business or school;
- order the abuser to give his/her firearms and firearm license to the sheriff or police and prohibit him/her from getting additional firearms;
- order the abuser to give his/her other weapons and ammunition to the sheriff or police if s/he used them or threatened to use them during the abuse;
- order the abuser to pay you for reasonable losses resulting from the abuse (this may include the cost of medical/ dental care, relocation and moving expenses, attorney and counseling costs, as well as loss of earnings or support); and
- grant any other appropriate relief you request.1
Note: If the judge issues a final order after a trial, the order must include the protections in numbers 1, 6 and 7. However, if the final order was a consent order where both parties agreed that the order would be issued, then those protections are not mandatory but they can be included.2
1 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6108(a)
2 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6108(a.1)