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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 9, 2019 02:33 PM
From: Representative Benjamin V. Sanchez
To: All House members
Subject: Indefinite Final Protection from Abuse (PFA) Orders

Imagine that, after having gone through one of the most frightening and traumatic experiences of your life, you must now petition the courts to receive protection from further trauma and violence. Now imagine that you are only permitted to receive this protection for three years, regardless of the level of danger you face. This is the experience of many domestic violence survivors who receive a final protection from abuse (PFA) order in the state of Pennsylvania. If they still feel unsafe after their three years of protection are up, they must petition the court again to have their PFA extended.

The current PFA process in Pennsylvania unfairly places the burden of protection on the survivor who, in addition to having to relive the details of their case, must potentially take time off work, find child care, and spend their own money to ask for extended protection. Multiple other states have lifted this burden by offering survivors permanent protection from their abusers. My legislation would add Pennsylvania to the list of states that respect survivors healing from abuse by giving judges the ability to grant an indefinite PFA.

Please join me in restoring justice to one of the most vulnerable populations of our society by supporting this important legislation.