PFA for Victims
The following is the second of three excerpts from a recent column by Nancy Eshelman of the Patriot-News in Central Pennsylvania. Ms. Eshelman’s husband was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in a domestic violence related incident.
“The terror is constant. It takes a toll, physically and mentally.
If I think about it, and I try not to, I still shiver from the fear.
Night after night, unable to sleep, convinced that every passing car, every tree branch blowing in the wind is him.
For a victim of domestic violence, peace is elusive, sleep unknown.
I recall rushing home from work and taking a shower because somehow being naked and alone in the bathroom felt less vulnerable in daylight.
The victim longs to feel normal, but normal is no longer part of her existence.
If she’s a mother, she strives to create a semblance of normalcy for her kids. She helps with homework, but can’t concentrate. She attends their activities, but often misses the action.
Instead of watching her son running up and down the basketball court, she’s scanning the stands, terrified she will see that face, the one that haunts her.
As one woman described it, ‘You become like a guerilla warrior – constantly scanning your surroundings, looking over your shoulder, and jumping at every sound.’
Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in PFA and criminal domestic-violence cases. For a free consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
At Spivak Law Firm, we strongly defend people served with PFA restraining orders. We know that the PFA system itself is frequently abused, causing many innocent people to suffer. But we also know that domestic violence is real, and we understand the need to provide immediate protections for victims of abuse.
We began handling PFA cases by representing victims of abuse on a pro bono basis for Neighborhood Legal Services Association. We recently recounted our representation of a woman seeking a PFA who was attacked by her husband and son along a busy street in Pittsburgh:
“A rail-thin woman sits hunched in a chair straining to breathe. She clutches a folder to her chest as though someone is threatening to snatch it. I call her name into the crowded room on the third floor of the Family Law Center in downtown Pittsburgh. She throws back her head, revealing two black eyes….”
To read our entire column on Pennsylvania PFA Law, go to page 26 of the Spring 2012 edition of the Pennsylvania Bar Association publication At Issue.