PFA OFFICE: HOW DOES THE LAW DEFINE ABUSE?
The Pennsylvania State Code defines "abuse" as follows: The occurrence of one or more of the following acts:
(i) The infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish.
(ii) The willful deprivation by a caretaker of goods or services, which are necessary to maintain physical or mental health.
(iii) Sexual harassment, rape or abuse as it is defined in the Protection From Abuse Act (35 P. S. § § 10181—10190).
"Abuse" – the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members, sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood.
(1) Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault or incest with or without a deadly weapon.
(2) Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
(3) The infliction of false imprisonment pursuant to 18 Pa C.S. § 2903 (relating to false imprisonment).
(4) Physically or sexually abusing minor children, including such terms as defined in Chapter 63 (relating to Child Protective Services).
(5) Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, without proper authority, under circumstances, which place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury. The definition of this paragraph applies only to proceedings commenced under this title and is inapplicable to any criminal prosecutions commenced under Title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses).