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Advocate says Protection From Abuse orders are effective - abc27 WHTM

Advocate says Protection From Abuse orders are effective

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An incident over the weekend in York County was apparently the latest example of a person being attacked by someone they had just filed a protection order against. But a victim's advocate group says victims should still put their trust in the process.

Police in York County say the man who stabbed two people on Sunday, Garrell Tyler, had a Protection From Abuse order filed against him by his wife, who was one of the victims. The woman and another man involved survived, but the incident called into question the effectiveness of PFA's.

Ellen Kramer, the legal director of the Pa. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says such orders absolutely do work.

"By and large victims are finding safety and protection from these orders," she said. "And offenders are being held accountable and getting the clear message that further abuse will not be tolerated."

She says Pennsylvania is fortunate enough to have one of the strongest protection from abuse acts in the country.

"And so we are not currently looking to change it, so much as to make sure we're working with all the stakeholders to make sure that its provisions are enforced to the fullest extent," Kramer said.

State Senator Pat Vance said it's tough to have a law that is fail-safe.

"It's all about enforcement," she said. "Do you live in a rural area that perhaps doesn't have its own local police, that the state police may be spread thin and can't get there quickly enough?"

"Hopefully women will learn to spot an abuser before the abuse starts and remove themselves from the situation," Kramer said. "I think some of that can be done by education."

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