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Understanding PFA Orders and How They Can Help Victims of Domestic Abuse

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Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in society today. It affects everyone, regardless of gender, age, social status, or economic background. To combat domestic violence and provide immediate aid to victims, states and territories have created laws and policies to address the issue. One of these policies is called a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, which is designed to provide immediate protection and remove the victim from harm. Explore what a PFA order is, how it works, and how it can help victims of domestic abuse.

What Is a PFA Order?

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order is a legal order issued by a court to protect a victim of domestic violence from further abuse at the hands of an abuser. The order requires the abuser to stay away from the victim, their home, place of employment, and any other places they frequent. It also demands an end to all contact between the victim and the abuser, including phone calls, texts, emails, and social media. If the abuser violates the terms of a PFA order, it is a criminal offense, and they face penalties or even jail time.

Who Can Get a PFA Order?

PFA orders are available to anyone who has experienced actual or threatened domestic abuse from a family member, spouse, former spouse, or intimate partner. This includes people of any gender, age, sexual orientation, or race. The victim must request the order from the court, and after a hearing, the judge will decide whether to issue the order or not. The victim can also request to have the order extended or removed once it has been granted.

How Does a PFA Order Work?

Once a PFA order is granted, the abuser will be served with a copy, and the local police department will be notified of the order's terms. If the victim and the abuser live together, the abuser must immediately leave the residence and is not allowed to return. In cases where the victim and abuser lived together, the victim will typically be provided with alternate housing options. The victim can also request an order for temporary custody and visitation of any children who may have been involved in the abuse.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a PFA Order?

The primary benefit of getting a PFA order is that it provides a layer of protection from the abuser. The order is enforced by law enforcement officers, which means that if the abuser violates the terms of the order, they can be arrested and face criminal consequences. The order also provides a more extensive range of protection than other legal remedies, such as restraining orders, and can help victims avoid contact with the abuser.

In conclusion, PFA orders are a powerful tool available to victims of domestic abuse. They provide an immediate and effective solution for combatting abuse and helping victims get the protection they need. Reach out to a family law attorney to learn more about PFA orders.