Protection from Abuse (PFA)
The Protection from Abuse Act is a state law which gives a court the power to issue a civil (non-criminal) order to protect certain people. They are:
- Spouses, or persons living as spouses, whether they live together now or did in the past
- Parents, children and other persons related by blood or marriage including persons who share biological parenthood
- Current or former sexual or intimate partners
To be eligible for an order for protection from abuse, you must have been physically abused or be in real fear of serious physical abuse because of threats or menace, or have been sexually abused, or have been knowingly restrained (kept somewhere against your will with no safe way to escape).
You can file a petition asking a judge to grant you an order from protection from abuse. You do not need a lawyer to file the petition. You can do it Pro Se (which means for yourself).