Quick Escape

Law Enforcement and Prosecutors

Protection Orders for Sexual Violence and Intimidation

Visit our PSVI webpage
Call for questions about PSV or PFI orders in the PFA database (PFAD) - 888-235-3425

Technical Assistance 1-888-235-3425 or 717-671-4767

PCADV encourages all Pennsylvania law enforcement, prosecutors and victim services providers to contact our legal department for research and resources regarding domestic violence-related civil and criminal laws, enforcement, victim safety and policy/protocol development.

PCADV has assisted Pennsylvania justice system personnel with questions about:

  • Inter-agency coordination of firearms surrender
  • PFA Act enforcement and violations
  • Inter-jurisdictional service of protection orders
  • Stalking and stalking with technology prosecution
  • Custody enforcement and Amber Alert
  • Policy and protocol development

Training and technical assistance is funded by a grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, using funds originating from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

STOP (Services. Training. Officers. Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Program.
The Legal Department's attorneys and advocates provide training and technical assistance to counties in Pennsylvania that receive STOP funding. The STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program encourages the development and improvement of effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to address violent crimes against women and the development and improvement of advocacy and services in cases involving violent crimes against women. STOP teams generally consist of members of law enforcement, prosecutors, court personnel and victim services providers.

A Proven Approach - Lethality Assessment Program

PCADV is doing more than just counting domestic violence fatalities. We are trying to prevent them. In partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, community-based domestic violence programs and local police departments, PCADV implemented the Lethality Assessment Program in 18 counties in 2013. (23 counties participate as of May 2014.)

The Lethality Assessment gives on-scene police officers a brief screening tool to identify domestic violence victims at highest risk of being killed by their abusers. Officers can then connect those victims by phone to immediate assistance at their local domestic violence program. We believe that this approach will reduce future fatalities. Maryland, which pioneered the program, has seen a 34 percent decline in domestic violence fatalities in the last 5 years.

Screen Shot 2014 10 02 at 11.24.36 AM


The Pennsylvania PFA Act Annotated contains the full text of the Act, 23 Pa.C.S. sections 6101 - 6123, and appellate case law annotations within the applicable sections. The PFA Annotated also describes cases relevant to the PFA Act's relationship with other proceedings: custody, divorce, and dependency. Cases are also indexed by relevant section.

The Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act PCADV, 2010, contains the full text of the Act, 23 Pa.C.S. sections 6101 - 6123.

Courtroom Evidence: A Resource for the Prosecution of Domestic Violence Cases

Designed in consultation with prosecutors from across Pennsylvania to address important evidentiary issues that are regularly encountered by prosecutors who specialize in domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking cases: 

  • Relevance of Prior Abuse
  • Witness Competency
  • Spousal Privilege
  • Hearsay
  • Confrontation
  • Child Witness Statements
  • Social Media Evidence
  • Experts
  • Special Evidentiary Concerns in Stalking Cases

View this manual in your browser

Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse Order Enforcement Project Manual

The Manual includes research based upon the realities of working with domestic violence victims in Pennsylvania counties. Each chapter represents an area of law that has a significant impact on victim safety and offender accountability. The Manual is designed to provide guidance to those seeking to create a seamless network of responses, resources and services to victims of domestic violence and their children. The Manual is not available electronically, but is available upon request. Please contact PCADV's Legal Department at 1-888-235-3425 or 717-671-4767 to request a copy.

Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Benchbook
for Common Pleas Judges

Get the Benchbook here
Written under the direction of a group of judicial leaders from across Pennsylvania, the Benchbook addresses evidence, pro se litigants, emerging practices in addressing domestic violence, criminal court concerns, teen dating violence and a variety of civil court issues including PFA and custody cases. The Benchbook is intended to provide substantive legal information and tools for trial court judges, and to be a concise and thorough compilation of statutory and case law related to domestic violence. Revisions as well as new chapters are written to keep the Benchbook current with Pennsylvania and federal laws.

Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Benchbook
for Magisterial District Judges

View the MDJ Benchbook

This Benchbook covers domestic violence law and precedent as it pertains to the Magisterial District Courts. The first chapter explores circumstances where the district judge may encounter domestic violence, ways it may effect proceedings, and the judge's powers to safeguard families and communities by holding offenders accountable. Other chapters review the intersections between domestic abuse and bail hearings, protection orders, victim and court safety and other civil proceedings. The Benchbook highlights the critical role of the magisterial district judge in assessing cases for coercion and abuse that could derail justice if left unexamined.


Jurist image200x The Jurist: e-News for Pennsylvania Judges

The Jurist: e-News for Pennsylvania Judges

The Jurist is tailored to Pennsylvania's judges with latest case law and precidential decisions, research about domestic violence, national and local training opportunities, and helpful tools such as judicial bench cards and web resources. Published quarterly at no charge.
Read Issues

STOPBULL logo STOP Technical Assistance Bulletins - News for Local STOP Teams

STOP Technical Assistance Bulletins - News for Local STOP Teams

STOP Technical Assistance Bulletins contain information about the Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act, technology and safety advocacy, stalking, firearms, primary aggressor and related issues.PCADV provides training and technical assistance to STOP team members, including law enforcement, prosecutors, courts and victim services providers.
Read Bulletins


Contact PCADV's Legal Department at 1-888-235-3425 or 717-671-4767 about customized training for your county, region or professional conference.

Recent training topics for Pennsylvania justice system audiences:

  • Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act and Case Law
  • Stalking and Technology
  • State and Federal Firearms Prohibitions
  • Responding to Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Abuse and Stalking in Schools and Through the Justice System
  • Strangulation
  • Dominant Aggressor Determination
  • Probable Cause
  • Full Faith and Credit For Protection Orders

dialog warning Alert! Computer use can be monitored.
-more info

Alert! Computer use can be monitored.
more info

Review these safety tips to learn more. Click the red quick escape button above to immediately leave this site if your abuser may see you reading it.

Error: linkLocal = 4, but newsLink is not a numeric spot. (newsLink = )

Keep Up with our News and Events