Protection from Sexual Violence and Intimidation Act
Unfortunately, sexual violence is one of the most common forms of violent crimes throughout the United States. The emotional stress that violent crimes have on victims is unmatched. For a victim’s recovery, it is important for these individuals to feel safe.
For this reason, Pennsylvania lawmakers have worked towards creating legislation aimed at protecting sexual violence victims from subsequent interactions or intimidation from their attackers. The Protection from Sexual Violence and Intimidation Act (PSVI) is intended to protect victims from the danger posed by previous assailants.
If you believe that you are in a situation requiring the protections offered by the PSVI an experienced family law attorney can work with you and explain the process of filing for the necessary protective order.
Attorney for PSVI orders in West Chester, Pennsylvania
If you have were a victim of a violent crime of a sexual nature, you may be feeling unsafe and in need of protection. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, we have decades of experience obtaining protective orders of all kinds for clients like you.
Our attorneys can explain the legal process to you as it pertains to obtaining a protective order. We can help you pick the most useful protective order based on your circumstances.
Call (610) 692-8700 or send an online message for a free consultation so we can act as soon as possible. We are based in West Chester PA and serve clients throughout Chester County, Lancaster County and suburban Philadelphia including West Chester, Kennett Square, Oxford, West Grove, Paoli, Malvern, Downingtown, Coatesville, Exton, Parkesburg, Berwyn and Devon. We have convenient meeting locations in Lancaster, Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Kennett Square, Malvern, Springfield, King of Prussia, and Radnor. Our family lawyers serve those with immediate legal needs in Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County and Lancaster County.
Located in Chester County, our firm also represents individuals seeking protective orders in Philadelphia County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, and Montgomery County.
What is the Protection from Sexual Violence Intimidation Act
Active July 1, 2015, Pennsylvania lawmakers enacted §62A05, the Protection from Sexual Violence and Intimidation Act to further protect victims of sexual violence from further violence or intimidation regardless of whether the victim intends to take further legal action against the alleged offender.
Following the PFA’s example, the PVSI aims to protect both minors and adults who have faced a form of intimidation, harassment, stalking, or sexual violence from an alleged offender; however, the PSVI is intended to be a catchall for victims who may not be protected from further violence under the Protection from Abuse Act (PFA).
Under the PVSI, any victim fitting the qualifications set forth in the PVSI can file a petition for a protective order. In addition, an adult guardian or household member can file a petition on behalf of the minor victim or an adult victim considered incapacitated under 20 Pa.C.S. Chapter 55.
Unlike the PFA, the PVSI protects victims of sexual violence brought on by another individual who does not live with the victim and does not share a familial connection.
In order to successfully file for a protective order under the PVSI, §62A06 states that victim must fulfill the following requirements within ten (10) days of filing a motion under the PVSI:
- Assert that the plaintiff, or the victim for whom the petition is being filed, was a sexual violence victim or a victim of intimidation committed by the offender; and
- Prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence that the plaintiff, or the victim for whom the petition was filed, is still at risk of harm from the defendant.
Definition of “Sexual Violence” in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the term “sexual violence” is defined as conduct constituting a crime under any of the following provisions between persons who are not family or household members:
- Sexual exploitation of children (18 Pa. C.S. § 6320)
- Unlawful contact with minor (18 Pa. C.S. § 6318)
- Sexual abuse of children (18 Pa. C.S. § 6312(b))
- Corruption of minors (18 Pa. C.S. § 6301(a)(1)(ii))
- Endangering welfare of children if the offense involved sexual contact with the children (18 Pa. C.S. § 4304)
- Sexual Offenses (18 Pa. C.S. Ch. 31) except Sexual intercourse with animals (18 Pa. C.S. § 3129) and Conduct relating to sex offenders (18 Pa. C.S. § 3130)
Protective Orders Available under the PVSI
Much like the PFA, the PVSI offers different forms of protection to victims of sexual violence at further risk of violence or intimidation. Among the protective orders available are the Sexual Violence Protection Order (SVP Order) and the Protection from Intimidation Order (PFI Order).
While SVP orders may be beneficial for all victims, PFI orders are geared towards minors who may be at risk of further harassment by an alleged offender who is over the age of eighteen (18) and has shown a history of harassing the victim.
Both are viable options for victims of sexual violence who wish to successfully protect themselves against further interaction with previous offenders. These protective orders are just some of the ways in which a sexual violence victim can seek security against alleged offenders.
Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence– Visit the primary prevention page of the Crime Victim’s Center of Chester County, Inc. site. This website provides resources for more information on frequency of sexual violence throughout Chester County. Also, find information on prevention and counseling resources for victims of sexual violence.
Find an Attorney for PVSI orders in Chester County, Pennsylvania
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual violence, stalking, or harassment in Chester County, you may be eligible to seek protection under Pennsylvania’s PVSI. Seeking the help of a skilled family law attorney can help you start the heeling process and restore some normalcy to your life.
If you are in need of a protective order, contact Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 692-8700 to get started with your first no-obligation consultation with one of our family lawyers. Located in downtown West Chester, Ciccarelli Law Offices also welcomes clients from Philadelphia, Kennett Square, King of Prussia, and Coatesville.
We also represent clients from neighboring counties including Montgomery County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, and Philadelphia County.
This article was last updated on January 6, 2017.