One of the more recent acts that helps victims of abuse in violent crimes receive relief from their abuser is the act know as a Protection From Abuse PFA. Domestic Violence charges A PFA is similar to a restraining order. The difference is that a PFA is typically used in emergency situations and serves as a temporary measure to seek relief from a person in which they have a domestic relationship with. A domestic relationship can be husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister, etc. In cases where the victim and abuser do not have a domestic relationship, a restraining order is required. The PFA is designed to give victims another avenue to help them escape from their abusers. However, it is only a temporary act and the maximum amount of time to have a PFA against someone is 3 years. This means that if the victim wants protection from the abuser for a long period of time, they will need a restraining order.