Are The Laws Stiff Enough to Protect Women? > PA has no Self-Defense Laws!

I met a woman who was attacked by her husband and his new girlfriend with a knife. During the attack she gained possession of the knife and stabbed her husband several times. She naively thought that she was defending herself and never imagined that she would be charged with assualt and attempted murder. Her husband had physically abused her for many years. They had two sons and she had finally decided to leave. He stalked her and made numerous threats against her life. She went to trial and was found guilty under a lesser charge. She was sentenced to 20 days in jail and 10 years parole. She was lucky but PA needs to establish some clear self-defense laws, especially for victims of domestic abuse.
October 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMsDawn

I reside in PA and I totally agree with your feelings regarding PA laws for self-defense and other domestic abuse laws. I've been a victim of domestic violence and the laws which govern the State of PA needs to be revised and re-defined. I'm praying and believing that enough people would begin to verbalize their voices to their local Congress and Senators to engage upon a journey of change. We can do all things through Christ which strengthens us!

October 11, 2008
October 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavis
In Nov 2008, I was a victim of abuse in my home. My boyfriend choked me, beat me in my head with his fist. Each time I would try to run for help he would beat me even more. In self defense, I stabbed him, he ran outside. When police arrived, we lied and said I stabbed him because he wanted to leave. I was arrested and was in jail for 2wks. He later recanted his statement, said he lied in fear of going to jail for domestic violence. My employer, Verizon Wireless (Hopeline) placed me on a leave of absence without pay. My charges were later placed on Dead Dockett and I was ordered to attend Anger Management classes. Once completed with classes, charges will be discharged and exspunged from my records. My employer terminated me anyway. I am left with the guilt of defending myself. I have lost my job of ten years. Now I wish I had taken my chances on him beating me to death, at least I would have my job and could take care of my son. There need to be more laws in place.
April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDear Dawn
You shouldn't and mustnot feel guilty. You did what was right, an animal backed in a corner will fight its attacker and we are after all animals! It was either be killed by your ex or defend yourself for crying out loud. The Law has become so blind to helping the right people that cold hard killers even have the possibility of getting out of jail. It is also sad that you all feel ashamed for protecting yourselves and your children, what if he was to go after your children? Instincts kick in that all mothers have of protecting them and their children. Reform must be done to the Law for this " innocent until proven guilty" thing and " all people have the right to representation before a court of law" is just just down right wrong. If law enforcement cannot tell the difference between self defense and homicide the world as we know it is done for. Good luck to you all and God Bless!
August 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReform Advocate
Every human being has the right to defend theirself. God has given all creatures a means of self defense. We don`t have claws and sharp teeth, but we have the knowledge to make our own weapons. I think starting a petition for self defense laws that protect innocent citizens, (instead of criminals) is a place to begin and write to our blind leaders to let them know we are fed up with their narrow minded and sissy run away laws.
October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKen B
My current boyfriend lived in PA while married to his first wife. She was out with her friends at a party getting drunk and sleeping with different men in the bathroom. One of my boyfriends friends contacted him and told him about it. He called her and told her not to come home (he was working full time and going to law school) he was tired and did not want to deal with her BS. She called her father and said she wanted to go home to get some things (that same night) her father came over with her, while he was asleep. He woke up she started fighting with him, he told her she is about to lose everything in the marriage. She started hitting him he pushed her out of his way, they were in the doorway. Her father shot him in the head and back, my boyfriend lunged into him by now they were in the kitchen, my bf grabbed a knife while hugging him he stabbed his fater-in-law in the back. He eventually died and my boyfriend was sentenced to 10 years for murder. He did his time got out 3 years early. Now he cant get hired for a job because he has a murder in his background checks. Now my family being so nieve thinks he is a BAD person because they wont even listen to the story of what happened. They ran a background on him when we started dating which, yes is none of their business but they did anyway, now we are not speaking to my family because of this. It all could have been avoided if PA would do the right thing and have a "Self Defense" law! His life has been ruined because of this charge against him.
July 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWhat to do?
We need self defense laws this is BS
August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Laws should be equal for both men and women as it is the right thing.
August 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterculture news
this is a shame. every person should have the defend themselves when there is little or no alternative...the laws need to be simplified and revised with less, much less gray area. what has our world come to? you have to risk your own life not to go to jail for protecting yourself.... there is definitely something wrong with these that...what about the children that go parentless due to these situations? i guess some feel that it isn't them huh, well i'm here to tell you that i never thought it would be my family either but now it is..........
January 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterconcerned pa resident
I agree with all these storys regarding self defense laws. I am a woman and it makes me sick how a man cannot hit a woman in pa but the woman can hit or beat him and when he hits her back he is arrested and put through the ringer.
January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSherry
The above stories are very disturbing and it makes me sick to think about the laws governing self defence. I read in another article that during an attack, if the attacker disengages the attack, he/ she regains the right to self defence. As a former member of the Military, I know that during times of high stress such as an attack, some of human reasoning and fine motor skills go out the window. During this, we have one clear goal in mind, getting away from the attack either by fighting or running. My personal opinion is, if I'm being attacked, I'm going to make sure I can get away without worrying if the attacker is following. I could go into great detail with some scenarios, but I won't. I pray the laws are looked at and revised.
February 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjim
April 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLEE
I was just recently involved in a self defense situation. While yelling at a person to leave my house he dailed 911. All the while I was yelling at him to leave and wait for the police out side of my home. He stood up and I thought he was leaving but then he looked right in my face and said to the 911 operator, "I'm being assaulted as we speak.". At that same moment he struck me in my forehead. I pushed him back and he jumped on me. He had me in a head lock and was trying to hit me in the face. Anyway we fell onto the couch and the head lock was so tight i couldn't breathe so I bit him in the chest. He released his grip and I punched him 4 times. He stopped fighting and so did I. But he still wouldn't leave. I dailed 911 and said I was just assaulted.

Long story short. I called the number the responding officers gave me to press charges but because I didn't have his address or Soc. Sec. number I was told, "Well then we can't help you"
Then they hung up. Of course he had that info on me so I'm in court fighting the charges right now.

May 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterE Hammer
keep up the good work!
June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAbercrombie and Fitch
PA has self defense laws:
18 Pa.C.S. § 505: Use of force in self-protection
(a) Use of force justifiable for protection of the person.--The use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.
(b) Limitations on justifying necessity for use of force.--
(1) The use of force is not justifiable under this section:
(i) to resist an arrest which the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, although the arrest is unlawful; or
(ii) to resist force used by the occupier or possessor of property or by another person on his behalf, where the actor knows that the person using the force is doing so under a claim of right to protect the property, except that this limitation shall not apply if:
(A) the actor is a public officer acting in the performance of his duties or a person lawfully assisting him therein or a person making or assisting in a lawful arrest;
(B) the actor has been unlawfully dispossessed of the property and is making a reentry or recaption justified by section 507 of this title (relating to use of force for the protection of property); or
(C) the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death or serious bodily injury.
(2) The use of deadly force is not justifiable under this section unless the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat; nor is it justifiable if:
(i) the actor, with the intent of causing death or serious bodily injury, provoked the use of force against himself in the same encounter; or
(ii) the actor knows that he can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety by retreating or by surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right thereto or by complying with a demand that he abstain from any action which he has no duty to take, except that:
(A) the actor is not obliged to retreat from his dwelling or place of work, unless he was the initial aggressor or is assailed in his place of work by another person whose place of work the actor knows it to be; and
(B) a public officer justified in using force in the performance of his duties or a person justified in using force in his assistance or a person justified in using force in making an arrest or preventing an escape is not obliged to desist from efforts to perform such duty, effect such arrest or prevent such escape because of resistance or threatened resistance by or on behalf of the person against whom such action is directed.
(3) Except as required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, a person employing protective force may estimate the necessity thereof under the circumstances as he believes them to be when the force is used, without retreating, surrendering possession, doing any other act which he has no legal duty to do or abstaining from any lawful action.
(c) Use of confinement as protective force.--The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of confinement as protective force only if the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the confinement as soon as he knows that he safely can, unless the person confined has been arrested on a charge of crime.
August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
I was helping a woman get her belongings bc she was being abused. Her husband thru a bat at my truck when I drove by, I stopped to call police bc he has multiple warrants for his arrest. He picked the bat up and tried to attack me along with his 2 sons. I managed to get my hands on him, I pushed him across the street he ordered his oldest son to take the bat and split my head open, I pushed the guy to the ground I. Which he scraped his head open on a steel pipe that stuck out of the ground, I took the bat from his kid and got punched in the face multiple times by his kid while his other kid was trying to hold me back, I switched the bat my other hand while trying to break free and hit there dad in the head with the bat by accident. I got away and left the next day got a hold of the police to tell them what happened and they refused to listen to my side over the phone and being a truck driver I was 500 miles away. They contacted me again wanting me to come in and I said I will mail them a sworn statement that is notarized and again they refused it. They said they would call me to schedule a time to come in and never called . Since then they filed a criminal complaint against me. Thank god though they have nothing to go on. But we do have the right to defend ourselves and if someone threatens u with a deadly weapon that is grounds for justifiable homicide.
June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason