top of page

Legal Advocacy Program

Judges Examining Document

The Goal of the Legal Department is Justice and Safety for Victims/Survivors.

The Women’s Center, Inc. has a Legal Coordinator and Advocate who assists clients with legal options and safety planning.



Assistance in filing Protection From Abuse and Sexual Violence Protection petitions

Protection From Abuse Orders (PFAs) & Sexual Violence Protection Orders (SVPOs)

This document is a binding civil order that prohibits batterers from harming their victims again. This provides the victim with a means of closing gaps in the criminal justice system because traditional approaches to crime may be inadequate as a single solution to domestic and sexual violence.

There are three types of orders:

  • Emergency Order: Issued by a hearing officer, usually by a district justice, in an emergency situation when the court is unavailable, outside of normal business hours.

  • Temporary Order: Issued by the court to provide immediate safety for a victim/survivor and/or their children, once the order is served ,until a hearing is held within 10 days.

  • Final Order: Issued by the court for a period of up to 3 years after a hearing is held, or upon consent of both parties, and may include a broad array of protections for the victim/survivor and their children.

The Women’s Center, Inc. retains an attorney that will represent our clients at their PFA hearing at no cost.


Provide emotional support to the victims

Know your rights.


Accompanies the victims to PFA, SVPO, and related criminal hearings

A victim/survivor is never alone during the legal process.


Helps assist clients to identify their own needs and preferred outcomes

Our Legal Advocacy Program offers informational packets to help survivors understand and explore their options when faced with the complex issues surrounding domestic and sexual violence.

Our Informational Packets include:

  • Abuse of Technology

  • Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence

  • Cell Phone Harassment

  • Child Custody

  • Child Support

  • Choosing an Attorney

  • Civil Justice System

  • Community Resources & Services

  • Criminal Justice System

  • Criminal Offenses Common to Domestic Violence Situations

  • Cyberbullying

  • Cyber Stalking

  • Divorce

  • Domestic Violence

  • Domestic Violence and Pregnancy

  • Elder Abuse

  • Entering the Work World

  • Firearms and Domestic Violence

  • Financial Fraud

  • Grandparent’s Rights

  • Identity Theft/Fraud

  • Immigration

  • Tenant’s Rights

  • New Identity

  • PA Law Protecting Utility Customers with Protection Orders

  • Personal Property

  • Protection From Abuse (PFA)

  • PFAs and the Workplace

  • Landlord/Tenant Issues

  • Safety Planning

  • Schools and Safety Issues

  • Self-Defense & Rape Prevention

  • Sexual Assault

  • Sexual Violence Protection Orders (SVPOs)

  • Spousal Support

  • Stalking

  • Transgender Issues (Name/Gender Changing Process in PA)

  • Victim’s Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) Overview

  • Victim’s Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) Utilizing the Program

  • Your Credit and Domestic Violence

All informational packets are offered at no cost to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Satellite Locations

In addition to our Administration Office in Bloomsburg, our Legal Advocacy Program also offers office hours in Danville, Washingtonville, and Locust Township for victims of domestic and sexual violence.   To schedule an appointment at one of these locations please contact the Legal Department.

Our Legal Advocacy Program is available Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm at


or call 1-800-544-8293, 24/7 to speak with an advocate.

The Scope of our Services — Advocates provide advocacy and empowerment, not representation, related to legal and/or social issues. The advocacy provided is for the purpose of enhancing the safety, autonomy, empowerment and economic viability of victims/survivors. Pennsylvania law prohibits the practice of law by any person who is not a lawyer.

bottom of page