Attorney Zanita A. Zacks-Gabriel has helped many people in Erie and northwest Pennsylvania with PFA (Protection From Abuse), orders. She represents victims as well as those who are wrongfully accused and is happy to discuss your rights with you. She will guide you through the painful and emotionally-charged process of filing or defending a PFA order with skill and compassion.

Victims of abuse in Pennsylvania have a powerful tool to seek relief from their abusers in the Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Act. This law provides judges with significant leverage to stop, or at least curtail, abusive, threatening and violent conduct through a PFA.


A protection from abuse order can offer the following protections for you and your children. It can:

  • Order the abuser not to abuse, harass, or stalk you, your relatives or your minor children;
  • Order the abuser to be removed from the home where you both live and grant you possession of the home; Note: Under certain circumstances, if you are living in a home where the abuser is the only owner or tenant, the judge can still remove the abuser from the home or, with your consent, order him/her to provide you with suitable alternate housing.
  • Award temporary custody or temporary visitation rights of your minor children;
  • Order the abuser to pay financial support (including medical bills, health insurance, rent or mortgage payments) to you or your children;
  • Prohibit the abuser from having any contact with you or minor children, including staying away from your or your child’s place of employment or business or school;
  • Order the abuser to turn any of his/her firearms, other weapons, and ammunition to the sheriff or police, if s/he used them or threatened to use them during the abuse, and prohibit him/her from getting additional firearms;
  • Order the abuser to pay you for reasonable losses resulting from the abuse (this may include the cost of medical/ dental care, relocation and moving expenses, attorney and counseling costs, as well as loss of earnings or support); and
  • Grant any other appropriate relief you request.