Legal Advocacy Program


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please use our hotline to reach the Legal Advocacy Department Staff.

Hotline: 570-784-6631 or Toll Free 1-800-544-8293

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 and Sexual Violence Protection petitions;

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

Provide emotional support to the victims

Helps assist clients to identify their own needs and preferred outcomes.

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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 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

 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


Cyber Stalking


 Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence and Pregnancy

Elder Abuse

Entering the Work World

Firearms and Domestic Violence

 Financial Fraud

 Grandparent’s Rights

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

Sexual Violence Protection Orders (SVPOs)

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.

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 battered women. Pennsylvania law prohibits the practice of law by any person who is not a lawyer.