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Protection from Sexual Violence

Obtaining a Protection from Sexual Violence (PSV) Order can give you the safety and security to continue living your life after a difficult situation.

Under the Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation (PSVI) Act, adults and children under the age of 18 have a right to seek protection if they are experiencing any form of sexual violence. However, seeking protection through this act is conditional. For example, victims cannot call upon this act if the offender is a familial or household member. Those attempting to seek protection from family members, current or ex-spouses, children, parents, or anyone else that falls under this category must instead seek relief through the Protection from Abuse Act. Despite its limitations, the PSVI Act can be extremely effective in stopping sexual violence. It provides harsh penalties to stop violence in its tracks.

Our Pittsburgh protection order lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC realize that seeking civil protection can be an intimidating process. With years of legal experience, attorney Anthony Piccirilli can help you navigate the court system. He will work tirelessly to ensure that the order of protection prioritizes the safety of you and your family. Do not be taken advantage of by those who have abused you in the past.

Call (412) 471-5100 today to see how you can end your suffering and move on with your life.


Understanding Sexual Violence and How You Can Be Protected

In the world of criminal law, sexual violence is a term that describes a set of acts that are committed by someone who has no familial or household relationship with the victim. More specifically, the state of Pennsylvania categorizes sexual violence as a group of acts that include the following types of abuse:

  • Any act that could be classified as a sexual offense, including rape, molestation, and child pornography
  • Any act that involves sexual contact with children or the sexual exploitation of children
  • Corrupting minors in a way that encourages them to commit sexual acts
  • Coming into sexual contact with a minor who is under the age of 18
  • Child abuse that involves any sexual act

If a minor or adult has experienced any form of sexual violence, they may choose to pursue a Sexual Violence Protection Order. In many cases, if the abuse is life-altering, the judge may create a no contact protective order. Once this order is issued, the person accused of sexual violence will no longer be allowed to come into contact with victim. This means that the assailant will be legally forbidden from entering the victim’s home, school, workplace, or place of business. In addition, the accused will not be allowed to contact the victim through a third party. These protection orders are made even more effective by the fact that they are not limited to Pennsylvania. They are valid across the United States.

Taking Action

The process of obtaining protection from sexual violence through a court order usually begins with filing a petition, otherwise known as a request for civil protection. Thankfully, these cases tend to finalize quickly. According to state law, a hearing must be held within 10 days of the petition being filed with the court. At the hearing, the person who is claiming to be the victim must prove that sexual violence has taken place. They must also convince the court that they are at continued risk of abuse and that a protection order is absolutely essential. Once the judge approves and finalizes the order, the defendant must obey the terms that have been set forth. In fact, violating a protection order can result in fines of up to $1,000 or a jail term of up to six months.

Let Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC Protect Your Interests

For many, the idea of filing a petition to obtain a protective order from sexual violence is unappealing. It is a widely held belief that protective orders are ineffective, and that taking legal action can put a person at greater risk for being assaulted or abused. However, with the harsh penalties set forth by the Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act, offenders are unlikely to violate the terms of a protection order. What’s more, you have the option to pursue criminal charges in addition to obtaining civil protection. Do not allow yourself to continue living in fear. Call Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC today at (412) 471-5100 to see how you can take legal action against those that wish to do you harm.