Abusive Relationship Assistance

You may qualify for Protection from Abuse.

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Domestic Abuse Attorneys in Erie, PA

For purposes of the Protection from Abuse Act, the term "abuse" is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members, sexual or intimate partners, or persons who share biological parenthood:

  • Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual and/or statutory assault, aggravated and/or indecent assault, or incest, with or without a deadly weapon.
  • Placing another in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury.
  • Knowingly confining someone against his or her will (false imprisonment, 18 Pa.C.S. § 2903)
  • Physically or sexually abusing minor children, including such terms as defined in Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services).
  • Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury. The definition of this paragraph applies only to proceedings commenced under this title and cannot be applied to any criminal prosecutions commenced under Title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses).

Family or household members are protected under the Act. This includes: spouses or persons who have been spouses; persons living together as spouses or who have previously lived together as spouses; parents, children, and other related persons; current or former sexual or intimate partners; or persons who share biological parenthood. If you feel threatened or are in an abusive relationship, it may be time to file for a Protection from Abuse Order.

Our attorneys at Elderkin Law Firm in Erie, PA realize that this is a devastating and difficult time, and we will help you through the legal process in in a sensitive manner. Our main goal is to make sure you are able to be safe.

We also understand that there are times when a Protection from Abuse Petition is filed against a spouse or significant other without justification. Our Matrimonial Law and Litigation attorneys have experience in both prosecuting and defending Protection from Abuse matters.

To schedule a consultation at our office in Erie, Pennsylvania, call (814) 456-4000 or begin an Online Evaluation today.

Other family law services we provide include: separation/divorce, custody and support, prenuptial agreements, guardianships and adoption.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I have been abused?

If you have an attorney with whom you are working, and an abusive situation arises, you should call that lawyer first.  That lawyer already has insight into your particular situation.  If you have not yet contacted an attorney and an especially abusive situation arises that requires immediate action, the very first thing you should do is remove yourself and others in danger from the physical reaches of the victimizer, and call 911 or a neighbor for assistance.  Once in a safe place, contact your attorney, the police, SafeNet or the Protection from Abuse Office for help in deciding what to do next.

Many times, abuse is not that conspicuous to the person who is being abused, but it may be more conspicuous to family and friends.  Long-term emotional situations, such as verbal abuse – lots of insults, verbal threats, degrading remarks – are much more difficult to work with.  The victim has experienced it for so long that they do not see how much it is affecting them, and sometimes they do not want to recognize the abuse.  They believe they care for the other person so much that it is just the way things are between the two of them.  It becomes the norm and they believe the abuser would never really hurt them.  Remember: Safety first - get out and protect yourself and your children.

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