The Goal of the Legal Department is Justice and Safety for Battered Persons.
The Women’s Center, Inc. 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 their own needs and preferred outcomes.
Protection From Abuse Orders (PFAs)
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, outside of normal business hours.
- Temporary Order: Issued by the court to provide immediate safety for a battered person 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 battered person and their children.
The Women’s Center, Inc. retains an attorney that will represent our clients at their PFA hearing at no cost.
Know Your Rights:
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
- NEW: 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
- NEW: Cyberbullying
- Cyber Stalking
- Domestic Violence and Pregnancy
- Elder Abuse
- Entering the Work World
- Firearms and Domestic Violence
- NEW: Financial Fraud
- NEW: Grandparent’s Rights
- NEW: Helping Battered Women
- Identity Theft/Fraud
- 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
- Spousal Support
- 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.
In addition to our Administration Office in Bloomsburg, our Legal Advocacy Program 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-1:00pm. 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.
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 battered women. Pennsylvania law prohibits the practice of law by any person who is not a lawyer.