Be Prepared To
1. Keep a spare
set of keys, a set of clothes, important papers, prescriptions and some
money with someone you trust.
2. Keep any evidence of physical abuse (ripped clothes, photos of
bruises and injuries, etc.).
3. Plan the safest time to get away.
4. Know where you can go for help, tell someone what is happening
to you. Have the phone numbers of friends, relatives, and domestic
violence programs with you.
5. Call the police if you are
in danger and need help.
6. If you are injured, go to
a hospital emergency room or doctor and report what happened to you, ask
that they document your visit and take photos.
7. Plan with your children.
Identify a safe place for them, a room with a lock or a neighbor's
house, where they can go for help. Reassure them their job is to
stay safe, not protect you.
8. Arrange a signal with a
neighbor, for example, if the porch light is on, call 911.
9. Contact the local domestic violence hotline listed below to find
out about laws, the shelter, and other resources available to you before
you have to use them or during a crisis.
Domestic Violence Links
National Coalition Against Domestic
National Network to End Domestic Violence
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic
Violence Against Women Office
To Domestic Violence
1. General Rule: Police
responding to a domestic violence case on or after April 16, 1986 have
the right, pursuant to 18 Pa. C.S. 2711, to make a warrantless arrest
when they have probable cause to believe an individual has violated the
Pa. Crimes Code relating to involuntary manslaughter, simple assault, 3,
4 and 5 of the Aggravated Assault Section or Recklessly Endangering
Another Person perpetrated against his spouse or other family member
with whom he resides or has formerly resided although the events did not
take place in the presence of the police officer.
2. A police officer may not arrest a person without a warrant
pursuant to 18 Pa. C.S. 2711 unless the officer has observed recent
physical injury to the victim or other corroborative evidence of an
assault upon the victim.
3. A police officer shall seize all weapons used by the defendant
in the commission of the foregoing offenses.
4. A person arrested pursuant to 18 Pa. C.S. 2711 shall be afforded
a preliminary arraignment without unnecessary delay before the proper
issuing authority and in no case shall the police officer release the
defendant from custody prior to taking him / her before issuing
5. When a police officer responds to a domestic violence case the
police officer shall notify the victim of the rights.
Rights By A Police Officer To A Victim Of Domestic Violence
1. You, as a
victim of domestic violence, have a right to go to court and file a
petition requesting an order for protection from domestic abuse pursuant
to the Act of 1976 (P.L. 1090, No. 218), known and referred to as the
"Protection From Abuse Act" and the following rights may be available to
you under this Act:
a. An order may be entered by the court restraining the
perpetrator of the abuse from further acts of abuse;
b. An order directing the abuser to leave your household may be
c. An order preventing the abuser from entering your residence,
school, business, or place of employment may be entered;
d. An order awarding you or the other parent temporary custody of
or temporary visitation with your child or children; and
e. An order may be entered by the court directing the abuser to
pay support to you and the minor children if the perpetrator of the
abuse has a legal obligation to do so.
2. If the abuser threatens or
intimidates you while criminal charges are pending against him for
assaulting you, you may obtain a protective order pursuant to the Act of
December 4, 1980 (P.L. 1097, No. 187) known as the Victim and Witness
Intimidation Act. To do this, go to the District Attorney's
3. You may be entitled to
crime victim's compensation. For more information contact the
office of the District Attorney or call your own attorney.
4. In situations where no
arrest is made, you may still be able to file a private criminal
complaint against the assailant. The police officer can tell you
where to do this.
5. You are notified that a
shelter is available to you and your family members.