Sunday, April 11, 2010

Burks' Domestic Violence Bill To Be Debated

Victims of domestic abuse would be able to get out of a lease contract early in order to get away from their abusers under a bill sponsored by State Senator Charlotte Burks of Monterey. The bill is scheduled to be heard Tuesday in Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would allow a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking to terminate a lease upon submitting an order of protection, a police or medical report, or a written report from a domestic violence or child abuse agency. In a survey of domestic violence shelters and legal service agencies cited by the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, nearly two-thirds reported that they had worked with victims who wanted to break their leases out of safety concerns. Two-thirds of the surveyed shelters and agencies also said they had worked with victims who were evicted after incidents of domestic violence, including some cases in which women were evicted for calling the police.