Domestic violence orders to be issued in foreign languages

In an effort to promote justice for all residents, regardless of national origin, Pennsylvania has translated a number of legal forms into multiple languages. Among them are the petition for protection from abuse and the domestic violence orders, both temporary and final. The forms are available on the state court’s website. Officials hope that this change will allow more people to have access to the court system, regardless of their English-language skill set. The change also could help individuals to better comply with court orders that result from a range of proceedings.

The Pennsylvania court system established that a need exists for domestic violence protection orders to be issued in the languages most commonly spoken in the state. The forms are now available in the ten most commonly used languages within Pennsylvania. The change could help domestic violence victims better understand their rights under the law. In addition, the new forms can also help offenders or those accused of domestic violence to understand the requirements placed upon them by the courts, such as turning in any deadly weapons.

Pennsylvania residents, regardless of their language skills, should understand that there are avenues of legal recourse available to protect victims of domestic violence. When approaching the courts for assistance, it is important to gain comprehensive understanding of the domestic violence statutes within the state, as well as the local rules for courtroom procedure. Being well-prepared can go a long way toward achieving a positive outcome.

While many victims of domestic violence fear that their abuser will retaliate against them for bringing legal attention to the abuse, it is important to note that Pennsylvania takes domestic violence very seriously, and has implemented a system of protective measures that can help victims escape from dangerous situations and move forward with their lives. For those who share children with their abuser, there are legal processes through which child custody issues can be determined in light of the abuse and its negative consequences for the children involved.

Source:, “New PFA forms assist victims of domestic violence,” Yvonne P Mazzulo, Oct. 18, 2012