Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse order filings increase

Local News
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Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse order filings increase.

According to the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, the number of Protection From Abuse (PFA) filings in Pennsylvania have increased from 2014 through 2017, with 39,083 PFA filed in 2017 with 90 percent of them being granted.

Dads’ Resource Center introduces an educational video series that discusses Protection From Abuse orders through interviews with a district judge, attorney, sheriff, and a community counselor.

“PFAs are civil orders are strictly enforced, with violations often resulting in Indirect Criminal Contempt charges that may result in incarceration for up to six months,” said Jeff Steiner, Executive Director of Dads’ Resource Center.

The four informational videos, set in interview style, discuss the following:
         • Centre County Sheriff Bryan Sampsel talks about what to expect if you are served with a Protection From Abuse Order.
         • Magisterial District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker discusses the process of being served with a Protection From Abuse order and how to prepare for, and what to expect at, an initial hearing before a judge.
         • Attorney Stephanie Cooper gives the perspective of PFAs from an attorney who practices criminal law and legal resources available to successfully follow a PFA.
         • Brian Coval from Crossroad Counseling, Inc. talks about the benefits of counseling and outlines community resources available to those affected by PFA orders.
While the videos mainly address the viewpoint of those individuals being served a PFA order, the series offers valuable information for any Pennsylvania resident seeking, or considering, protection orders.

“PFA orders affect both parties and at the Centre County Sheriff’s Department, we are concerned with both,” said Sheriff Sampsel. “We need those being served to take the PFA very seriously and to follow it to the letter, because the courts show no leniency for order violation. We hope the videos will help them stay out of trouble, because once the PFA is violated, it often starts a snowball effect from there. We also want those being protected by the PFA to remain safe at all times. We all need to do what we can to reduce domestic violence incidents.”

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