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 2018, there were 1,662 new protection from abuse cases filed in Berks County, for a rate of 4 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 a low of 3.2 in 2014 before rising again in 2017. The statewide rate changed little from 2005 to 2018.

Compared to neighboring counties, Berks' rate in 2018 was 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 12% as of 2018.

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
Berks County3.
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County0.
Lancaster County2.
Lebanon County2.
Lehigh County3.
Montgomery County1.
Schuylkill County2.

Source: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

Number of Protection from Abuse Cases
Berks County1,3981,3491,4211,4271,4731,7931,7961,5591,4361,3321,3841,6681,7911,662
Berks County Regions
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County259311307329349399395337326448509576679553
Lancaster County1,1951,2681,4061,3191,3341,2581,1481,1881,0601,0639731,0431,0041,156
Lebanon County256246270314323417413408299241272298368434
Lehigh County1,2751,1961,1901,2341,1151,0991,3481,3781,1121,2671,3591,3461,3851,354
Montgomery County1,3701,6031,4591,4671,6112,0581,6491,4981,4201,4051,4131,4891,6581,550
Schuylkill County429464401424429438495486429432423420414422

Source: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
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 Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Maintaining
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households by type Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Seniors Living Alone Maintaining
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
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 County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Toxic Chemical Releases Decreasing
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing