Philadelphia — November 13, 2018 — Today, Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) joined Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-Beaver/Greene/Washington), Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks) and domestic violence advocates for a bill signing ceremony in the Governor’s Reception Room in Harrisburg.

“I am delighted we were able to get this legislation passed to ensure the safety of domestic and sexual violence survivors living in Pennsylvania,” Sen. Haywood said. “The main purpose of this bill is to move people out of where they were victimized into a safe place, and we wouldn’t have made it happen without our advocates across the Commonwealth.”

“Current law does not allow local authorities to adequately protect victims, even when the abuser still poses a real threat to the victim’s safety,” Sen. Bartolotta said. “This bill offers a pathway for housing authorities to help victims who would otherwise be trapped in a dangerous situation.”

“Leaving an abusive relationship can be incredibly difficult for victims of domestic or sexual violence,” Sen. Schwank said. “Having to leave your home – a place where you should feel secure – in order to be safe adds more stress to an already difficult situation. On top of that, finding quality, affordable housing is even harder. This legislation will help ease that burden of finding new, affordable housing for victims who live in public housing.”   

Advocate organizations PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence, PA Coalition Against Rape, Housing Alliance of PA, PA Assoc. of Housing & Redevelopment Authorities, Women Against Abuse, Women’s Center of Montgomery County, PA Office of Victim Advocate, PA Council of Churches, PA District Attorneys Association, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, and the PA Joint Women’s Health Caucus were represented during the signing. A celebration to thank the advocates of the occasion followed the ceremony.