Law Enforcement and Prosecutors

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.


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

Tools from PCADV

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

STOP Technical Assistance Bulletins

  • Download pdfComplying with VAWA Requirements for Funding STOP Programs

    Pennsylvania receives more than 4.5 million dollars yearly in federal funding under the STOP Formula Grant. STOP funds are used to develop and strengthen collaborative efforts by courts, law enforcement, prosecutors, and service providers to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking in their communities. To be eligible to receive this funding, Pennsylvania and all its jurisdictions must certify compliance with four statutory requirements. PCADV, 2014

    261.65 K | 7/18/2014
  • Download pdfEffective STOP Team Management

    This technical assistance bulletin is intended to assist teams in achieving the goals and fulfilling the purpose of the STOP project by offering best practice information for forming effective teams, identifying projects and priorities, conducting effective meetings, and evaluating progress. This bulletin provides essential guidance for effective grant management to help programs ensure the continuation of funding for the project in the future. PCADV, 2014

    444.08 K | 7/18/2014
  • Download pdfImmigration Relief for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence

    Immigrant victims, regardless of their immigration status, are entitled to protection, services, and legal relief. Understanding the unique dynamics of domestic violence in immigrant communities, as well as protections, services, and relief available, can help STOP Teams craft policies and procedures to better reach underserved populations. Economic dependence, limited work skills or authorization, limited English proficiency (LEP), fear of deportation, and cultural or religious factors often intensify an immigrant victim’s dependence on the abuser and deter the victim from seeking help from the justice system. PCADV, 2014

    594.29 K | 7/18/2014
  • Download pdfTeen Dating Abuse

    Without an adequate response, dating abuse may start early and carry through into adult relationships. In addition, the severity of abuse between intimate partners has been shown to increase if the pattern was established in adolescence. Court-based intervention for juvenile abuse perpetrators was especially effective for first-time offenders whose behavior had not yet become entrenched. PCADV, 2011

    183.06 K | 7/18/2014
STOPbanner200x Services. Training. Officers. Prosecutors. <a class="ExternalLink " title="Subscribe" href="" target="_blank">Subscribe</a>

Services. Training. Officers. Prosecutors. Subscribe

The STOP Program encourages the development and improvement of effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to address violent crimes against women and children. PCADV is awarded grants to provide training and technical assistance to STOP team members, including law enforcement, prosecutors, courts and victim services providers. The STOP Newsletter contains articles about the Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act, technology and safety advocacy, stalking, firearms, primary aggressor and related issues. It is distributed free to email subscribers on a quarterly basis. See previous issues

June 2013: Appellate Case Changes PFA Process, Resource for the Prosecution of Domestic Violence Cases, Admitting Expert Testimony on Victim Behavior in Sexual Assault Cases

CourtAccessBanner copy150x Domestic Violence Newsletter for Court Personnel
<a class="ExternalLink " title="Subscribe" href="" target="_blank">Subscribe</a>

Domestic Violence Newsletter for Court Personnel

Court personnel may be the "first responders" to domestic violence victims in the court system. Court Access keeps key workers in PFA offices, court administration, judicial support, and domestic relations offices informed about working effectively with domestic violence victims and PFA litigants. Court Access is distributed to email subscribers twice yearly at no charge. See previous issues

  • Download pdfMay 2014

    Force not required to establish sexual abuse under PFA Act: Boykai v. Young - PFA Extensions Clarified - Withdrawal, Modification, Discontinuance of PFA Orders

    3.3 Meg | 7/17/2014
  • Download pdfNovember 2013

    Domestic Violence in Later LIfe - Courts Address Elder Abuse - Elder Abuse Webinar Link - Elder Abuse Resources

    1.67 Meg | 7/17/2014

The Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse Act

The full text of the Act, 23 Pa.C.S. sections 6101 - 6123

The Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse Act Annotated

The 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, dependency. Cases are also indexed by relevant section.

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.

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