Despite its size, Dauphin County nearly matches Lancaster, York in PFA cases

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Oct 20, 2017 6:02 PM


(Harrisburg) -- Dauphin County is roughly half the size of Lancaster County by population, and two-thirds the size of York County.

But each county saw a similar number of Protection From Abuse cases filed last year: 1,043 new cases in Lancaster County, 997 in York, and 976 in Dauphin.

Advocates for victims of domestic violence are hesitant to give reasons why numbers might be higher in some counties than others.

Amber Borreli is a crime victim advocate in Dauphin County. She attributed the varied numbers to differences between counties.

"I think it's just more how our process works" she said. "So maybe in Dauphin County individuals feel like this is a good option for them and that a PFA will be helpful or beneficial to them."

In some places, victims need an appointment to file a PFA. But Dauphin County operates a walk-in service, where advocates talk to the individual about their options and help them file the paperwork.

Borreli said the walk-in process might make it easier for some people to go forward with a PFA.

"It's a shame that if you live in a different county you might get a different type of service. Not that's it's better or worse, but just different," Borreli said.

She added, in the cycle of abuse, victims can often change their minds about what to do.

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