Protection from Sexual Violence & Intimidation

The Protection From Sexual Violence and Intimidation (PSVI) Act applies to adults and minors (children younger than age 18) who are victims of sexual violence, harassment, stalking, and intimidation when the person who is abusing them is not a member of their family or household.

The Act gives victims a way to get a court order that requires the offender to stay away from them. Victims can petition for an order at the courthouse or with help from a sexual assault program.

Types of Protection Orders

Protection from Abuse Order (PFA)

When an abuser is a present or past member of the victim’s household or family, the victim is eligible for a Protection From Abuse order. PFA orders are court orders a judge can issue that require an abuser to stay away from a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.

Learn More About PFAs


Pursue if the abuser is a family member, an ex-intimate partner, or spouse of the victim.

Sexual Violence Protection Order (SVPO)

Adults and minors can petition for a Sexual Violence Protection Order. For example, a SVPO could be granted for a victim who is sexually assaulted by a coworker, and who has no other relationship with the coworker – is not now or never was a family relation, spouse, dating partner, or member of the same household.


Pursue if the abuser is a stranger, a co-worker, or acquaintance of the victim.

Protection from Intimidation Order (PFIO)

The Protection From Intimidation Order was created to protect minors when the offender is age 18 or older. For example, a PFIO could be granted for a child whose sports coach or an adult friend of the family is stalking or harassing him or her.

A judge can grant an SVPO or a PFIO for up to 3 years.


Pursue if the abuser is 18+ and a stranger or acquaintance of an underage victim.

Get help obtaining the right protection order at one of Pennsylvania’s Domestic Violence Programs.

Find Your Closest Program