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 2016, there were 1,668 new protection from abuse cases filed in Berks County, for a rate of 4.0 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 2016. The statewide rate changed little from 2005 to 2016.

Compared to neighboring counties, Berks' rate in 2016 was similar to Lehigh but higher than all other surrounding counties. Compared to Berks, the rate was particularly low in Chester County, at 1.1 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 20% as of 2016.

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
200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
Pennsylvania3.23.03.03.13.23.23.23.33.12.93.03.1
Berks County3.53.43.53.53.64.44.43.83.53.23.34.0
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County0.60.60.60.70.70.80.80.70.60.91.01.1
Lancaster County2.42.52.82.62.62.42.22.32.02.01.81.9
Lebanon County2.01.92.12.42.43.13.13.02.21.82.02.1
Lehigh County3.83.63.53.63.23.13.83.93.13.53.83.7
Montgomery County1.82.11.91.92.02.62.01.91.71.71.71.8
Schuylkill County2.93.12.72.92.93.03.43.32.93.02.92.9

Source: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts




Number of Protection from Abuse Cases
200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
Pennsylvania39,37138,02138,03238,54440,60541,20441,06441,82639,07837,08637,99339,056
Berks County1,3981,3491,4211,4271,4731,7931,7961,5591,4361,3321,3841,668
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County259311307329349399395337326448509576
Lancaster County1,1951,2681,4061,3191,3341,2581,1481,1881,0601,0639731,043
Lebanon County256246270314323417413408299241272298
Lehigh County1,2751,1961,1901,2341,1151,0991,3481,3781,1121,2671,3591,346
Montgomery County1,3701,6031,4591,4671,6112,0581,6491,4981,4201,4051,4131,489
Schuylkill County429464401424429438495486429432423420

Source: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population Ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Increasing
Local Government Spending Increasing
County Government Spending Decreasing
School District Spending Increasing
Quality Early Childhood Centers Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on High School Reading Increasing
Student Performance on High School Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Median Household Income Decreasing
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage by Household Type Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Health Status Decreasing
Managed Medicaid Enrollment Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Maintaining
Adults Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Children Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Youth Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Vacant Housing Units Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Maintaining
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Increasing
Tourism Spending Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Giving Increasing
Charitable Contributions as a Percentage of Income Increasing
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Decreasing
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing