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Crime, law & justice

Get a restraining order

A Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) is the same thing as a restraining order. You can get a PFA if someone in your family, an intimate partner, or someone you have children with:

  • Injured you or is trying to injure you (physically or sexually).
  • Is threatening to harm you.
  • Is preventing you from going somewhere.
  • Is abusing or has abused minor children (physically or sexually).
  • Is stalking you in a way that makes you feel afraid of getting hurt.

You can file for a PFA at the following locations and times:

Family Court

1501 Arch St.
Domestic Violence Intake Unit
8th floor
Phone: (215) 686-3512
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Criminal Justice Center

1301 Filbert St.
Room B-03
Hours: Open for emergency requests 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays, and 24 hours on weekends.

A PFA can set limits on the contact that the abusive person can have with you, and can include any of the following:

  • Stopping the abuser from further acts of abuse
  • Evicting the abuser from your household
  • Keeping the abuser from going to your home, school, or job
  • Giving you or the other parent temporary custody of, or temporary visitation, with your child or children

A PFA is not a guarantee of safety—it is one tool that can be used to deter one person from abusing another, and is only one part of a comprehensive safety plan.

If your abuser is incarcerated, you may want to sign up for PA SAVIN, a service that will notify you if your abuser is released from jail or prison.

If you would like assistance or information on other steps you can take to increase your safety, please call the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at (866) SAFE-014, or contact the Victim/Witness Services Unit at (215) 686-8027. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

For more information, please see: