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A Protection From Abuse Order, commonly referred to as a PFA, is a civil order offering a person protection from abuse by family or household members, sexual or intimate partners or a person with whom an individual has had a child.
Abuse can include physical injury or threats of physical injuries, and includes any of the following:

• Abusing minor children either physically or sexually;
• Attempting to either intentionally or recklessly causing a person bodily injury:
• False imprisonment;
• Putting another person, by physical threat, in fear of eminent bodily injury that is serious;
• Stalking a person and putting that person in reasonable fear of suffering bodily injury.

PFAs are granted to adults (a person 18 years of age or older), or emancipated minors seeking legal protection from acts of domestic violence or abuse committed against them or to their minor child by a family or household member. A "family or household member" includes a spouse or ex-spouse, a sibling, parent, relative by blood or marriage, a child, a former or current sexual or intimate partner (including a same sex partner) and someone with whom a child is shared.

If a protective order is entered, the length of the order can be up to 36 months. The length of a PFA can be extended if ongoing violations of the Order occur.

In a protective order, the court has the ability to grant the following relief:

• Prohibit the defendant from abusing, stalking, harassing or threatening you
• Require the defendant to stay away from wherever you live, work or attend school
• Prohibit the defendant from harassing your relatives
• Prohibit the defendant from possessing a gun, firearm, or obtaining a permit for a firearm.
• Require the defendant to reimburse you for any losses incurred as a result of the abuse which could include but not be limited to hospital bills, lost wages, or costs to replace damaged property
• Awarded temporary custody of any children involved
• Awarded temporary support for yourself and your minor children
• Awarded exclusive possession of a residence

Domestic violence is never acceptable. If you find yourself in a situation involving domestic violence, you need to take steps to immediately and safely remove yourself and any minor children from the situation.

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