Harrisburg – March 21, 2018 – State Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) released the following statement on the domestic violence legislation that passed today in the senate and on the relocation of victims in public housing:
Today a package of legislation to protect victims of domestic violence passed the PA Senate, including legislation I sponsored along with Senators Bartolotta and Schwank. Our legislation in Senate Bill 919 supplements federal laws by establishing state rules to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence that live in public housing. Our legislation speeds up the process for them to be relocated from the place they experienced abuse.
No victim of domestic violence or sexual assault should have to live in fear of their abuser violating their rights again. No victim should have to worry about where they will live, or face separation from their family to avoid further danger of their abuser. Every county housing authority is given five days to approve a domestic violence-related relocation request and thereafter relocate the victim and other members of the household by providing them with another apartment, a Housing Choice Voucher, aid in finding other housing, or other measures. To be relocated, the victim must demonstrate that they reasonably believe they are at risk of imminent harm from violence if he or she remains in the premises.
Our nation and state have a long way to go in protecting the rights of women. This is one step on the state level that will aid along the way.