MAKE A SAFETY PLAN
- If you feel you are in danger, leave your home before you are abused or the violence gets worse. You may do that without losing the right to return home. If you leave for safety reasons, you cannot be accused of desertion.
- Set aside an “emergency” bag for yourself and your children with clothing, important papers, social security/public assistance cards, etc.
- Put aside money for this emergency, as well as checks, bank books, bank cards, and credit cards to joint accounts. You are entitled to take money from all jointly held accounts.
- Make an extra set of keys to the house and car and keep them hidden.
- Do not keep your abuse a secret. Confide in family members or friends and ask for their help. Contact local domestic violence programs
24-HOUR RESOURCES for: counseling, safe shelter, information, referral, support groups, legal options.
Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh Hotline
Crisis Center North (Northern suburbs of Allegheny County)
Womansplace (Mon-Yough area & Allegheny County)
Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center (Alle-Kiski Valley)
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (Nationwide)
The Center for Victims of Violence and Crime
Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
THE “PFA” [for more legal options, contact the above resources]
A Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) is a special type of restraining order available only to victims of domestic violence. Issued by the Family Division Court of Common Pleas, the PFA orders a defendant not to harm the victim again. It can evict the abuser from the home, give temporary custody of children to the victim, direct the abuser not to contact or harass the victim, order the abuser to pay temporary support, and more.
To get a PFA in Allegheny County, go to the Family Court Building (412-350-5600) at the old Allegheny County Jail, 440 Ross Street, room 3030, between 8:30-10:45 a.m., Monday-Friday. The court’s PFA coordinator and legal advocates will assist you. When Family Court is closed, an Emergency Protection From Abuse Order is available through Night Court (412-350-3240), after 6:00 p.m., downtown Pittsburgh.