Friday, December 27, 2013

Calif. Law To Help Domestic Abuse Victims Escape Violence

by J.D. Hillard

In California, it's about to get easier for abuse survivors to break their leases.

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will allow domestic violence victims to give their landlords a simple form as proof that they have been abused.

Counselors say it will make abuse survivors safer because they'll more easily be able to move away.

Virginia's Story: 'An Extreme Hardship'

It took four years for Virginia to leave the man who abused her. (We're not using her full name because she's afraid he might still stalk her.) He went to prison for the abuse, and Virginia, aiming to get her life back on track, found an apartment with affordable rent where she thought he wouldn't find her.

"I was safe. I was in a confidential location," she says.

But then her abuser got out of prison, and a neighbor reported someone who looked like him had broken into her car. Virginia locked her door, "and I looked out my blinds and I remember seeing him. And I hadn't seen him for 2 1/2 years, and I don't know how he found me."

She decided to move out quickly, but there were two months left on her lease.

Read more here.


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