The Goal of the Legal Department is Justice and Safety for Battered Women
The Women’s Center has a Legal Coordinator and Advocate who assists clients with legal options and safety planning. Services include:
- Assistance in filing Protection From Abuse petitions;
- Accompanies the victims to PFA hearings and related criminal hearings
- Provide emotional support to the victims
- Helps assist clients to identify her own needs and preferred outcomes.
Some of the many options that the Women’s Center provides through the legal department are:
- Protection From Abuse orders also known as PFA’s. 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 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.
- Temporary Order: issued by the court to provide immediate safety for a battered woman and/or her children until a hearing is held.
- Final Order: issued by the court for a period of up to 18 months after a hearing is held, or upon consent of both parties, and may include a broad array of protections for the battered woman and her children.
The Women’s Center also retains an attorney that will represent our clients at their PFA hearing at no cost.
PA Law Protects Utility Customers with PFAs
Visit http://www.pcadv.org/Utility-Protections-For-Domestic-Violence-Victims.asp to learn more.
Our legal department 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
- Cell Phone Harassment
- Child Support
- Choosing an Attorney
- Civil Justice System
- Community Resources & Services
- Criminal Justice System
- Criminal Offenses Common to Domestic Violence Situations
- NEW PACKET: Cyber Stalking
- Firearms and Domestic Violence
- Identity Theft/Fraud
- New Identity
- PA Law Protecting Utility Customers with Protection Orders
- Personal Property
- Protection From Abuse (PFA)
- Phone/Internet Safety
- Photographs for Evidence
- Renters Rights
- Safety Planning
- Schools and Safety Issues
- Self-Defense & Rape Prevention
- Sexual Assault
- Spousal Support
- Victim’s Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) Overview
- Victim’s Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) Utilizing the Program
- Working: Entering the Working World & Safety at Work
- Your Credit and Domestic Violence
All informational packets are offered at no cost to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. For more information or to receive an informational packet please contact our Legal Department at (570)784-6632, Monday through Friday, 9AM-5PM, or call 1-800-544-8293 to speak with an advocate.
In addition to our administration office in Bloomsburg, our legal department also offers office hours in Danville for victims of domestic and sexual assault. Our outreach office hours are on Tuesdays 9:00am-1:00pm and Thursdays 9:00am-5:00pm. The office is located at the Grove Presbyterian Church Office building at 330 Bloom Road. Our legal advocate can be reached during these hours by calling (570)275-4857.
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 battered women. Pennsylvania law prohibits the practice of law by any person who is not a lawyer.
All services provided by the Women’s Center are offered at no cost.