Blog

Reduction in PFAs in PA Pandemic

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

As families cope with the fallout from the coronavirus, some unexpected consequences of the pandemic have emerged. Experts suggest that being confined at home for an extended time is leading to increases in violence between couples. Recent data shows a surge in domestic violence cases that require women to seek emergency care.

Social distancing has also made it more difficult for women to report domestic abuse. Judicial data shows that applications for protection from abuse orders in Philadelphia dropped 40% this year—even as domestic violence cases continue to rise. The numbers suggest that victims struggle to seek legal intervention while they are stuck at home with their abusive partners. Here's what you need to know.

What are PFAs?

Protection from abuse, or PFA, are restraining orders that protect victims of domestic violence from their partners. Victims can apply for a PFA if they've experienced domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence from their partner, a family member, or someone they share a child with.

Domestic violence in Pennsylvania refers to instances or threats of bodily injury, sexual assault, rape, emotional abuse, child abuse, theft and destruction of belongings, and not allowing someone to work or see others. PFAs can have a wide-reaching impact on the abuser. They may require an accused abuser to leave their home, avoid contact with the victim, stop all abuse and threats, lose child custody, pay fines, and more. Breaking a PFA can result in an arrest and serious legal consequences.

The Pandemic and PFAs

The coronavirus lockdown has left many domestic violence victims stuck at home with their abusers. Not only has this led to more instances of domestic violence, but it has also made it hard for victims to find the privacy necessary to file PFAs. Women are finding it increasingly difficult to call emergency hotlines and file PFAs while their partners are home. PFA filings in Philadelphia dropped from an average of 748 per month in March-May 2018 to just 457 per month for the same period in 2020.

Further compounding the issue is pandemic-related job loss and school closures. Experts suggest that some abuse victims must leave their children at home with their abusers while they are at work. They are also finding it difficult to seek relief and stay with family members or friends who are in lockdown.

Moving Forward

As Pennsylvania continues to grapple with the coronavirus, domestic violence victims face uncertainty and challenges when it comes to evading their abusers. It can be difficult for victims to utilize services like emergency hotlines, online portals, and domestic abuse service providers while they are in danger.

Pennsylvania law takes domestic violence issues very seriously. Although some courts remain closed or are operating only in a limited capacity, it is still possible to file PFAs. If you believe you are in danger, you must take the necessary steps to get a PFA and protect yourself from harm.

The Lento Law Firm can help you and your family order a PFA. They are armed with the legal expertise and experience to fight on your behalf and get you the protection you need. Call us today at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience fighting for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, as well as New Jersey. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

footer-2.jpg

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website.  In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County.  In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County,  In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties.  Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law.  The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship.  The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

Menu