Public Safety
Protection from Abuse


Protection from Abuse

What does this measure?

The number of new protection from abuse cases filed each year in a geographic area, presented per 1,000 residents.

Why is this important?

A protection from abuse order is a civil order from a court to safeguard victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Such an order can prohibit the defendant from abusing or contacting the plaintiff. The rate of new cases filed can indicate levels of domestic violence or intimate partner abuse.

How is our county performing?

In 2017, there were 1,791 new protection from abuse cases filed in Berks County, for a rate of 4.3 per 1,000 residents and higher than the Pennsylvania rate of 3.1. Since 2005, Berks County's rate peaked at 4.4 in 2010 and declined to 3.2 in 2014 before rising again in 2017. The statewide rate changed little from 2005 to 2017.

Compared to neighboring counties, Berks' rate in 2017 was higher than all other surrounding counties. Compared to Berks, the rate was particularly low in Chester County, at 1.3 per 1,000 residents. Similar to Berks, the rate in Montgomery peaked around 2010 and subsequently declined. Lancaster's rate declined fairly steadily from 2007 and had fallen 23% as of 2017.

Notes about the data

The data reflect requests for protection from abuse orders, not all of which were granted by the courts. As a rule, domestic or intimate partner violence tends to be underreported, and can influenced by factors such as public education, outreach efforts and media stories. Comparable national data were not available.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Protection from Abuse
2005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Pennsylvania3.23.03.03.13.23.23.23.33.12.93.03.13.1
Berks County3.53.43.53.53.64.44.43.83.53.23.34.04.3
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County0.60.60.60.70.70.80.80.70.60.91.01.11.3
Lancaster County2.42.52.82.62.62.42.22.32.02.01.81.91.8
Lebanon County2.01.92.12.42.43.13.13.02.21.82.02.22.6
Lehigh County3.83.63.53.63.23.13.83.93.13.53.83.73.8
Montgomery County1.82.11.91.92.02.62.01.91.71.71.71.82.0
Schuylkill County2.93.12.72.92.93.03.43.32.93.02.92.92.9

Source: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts




Number of Protection from Abuse Cases
2005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Pennsylvania39,37138,02138,03238,54440,60541,20441,06441,82639,07837,08637,99339,05639,083
Berks County1,3981,3491,4211,4271,4731,7931,7961,5591,4361,3321,3841,6681,791
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County259311307329349399395337326448509576679
Lancaster County1,1951,2681,4061,3191,3341,2581,1481,1881,0601,0639731,0431,004
Lebanon County256246270314323417413408299241272298368
Lehigh County1,2751,1961,1901,2341,1151,0991,3481,3781,1121,2671,3591,3461,385
Montgomery County1,3701,6031,4591,4671,6112,0581,6491,4981,4201,4051,4131,4891,658
Schuylkill County429464401424429438495486429432423420414

Source: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts




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