Domestic Violence Victim Evicted for Calling Police for Protection
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The ACLU states that Domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of gender-based violence deprive women and girls of their fundamental ability to live with dignity. Women and girls experience domestic violence and sexual assault at alarming rates. Governments, institutions, laws, and policies contribute to the systematic devaluation of the lives and safety of women and girls by failing to respond to gender-based violence and discriminating against those subject to such violence. Accountability by the government, employers, landlords and others, as well as recognition that discrimination against survivors is a form of sex discrimination, are essential to enable women and girls to live lives free from violence.
My name is Lisa and on June 1, 2012 I made the biggest mistake of my life. i married a man who I thought loved me but started abusing me on the 8th day of our marriage. The picture included with this petition is of a bite mark on my torso I sustained from my husband while he was abusing me. Scared and embarrassed, it took me another 2 weeks of ongoing abuse to finally call the police for protection. The Frankfort, Kentucky police informed me that even though we had not yet even moved in together and he did not reside at my residence, did not get mail there, was not on the lease, and had no belongings there that because we were married they could not force him to leave. The Frankfort police then issued me a citation for disorderly conduct because I was upset, crying, and found it hard to calm down. The officer then proceeded to tell me that he was going to contact my landlord, The Frankfort Housing Authority, and have me evicted because I told him I would fight the citation it court. Ultimately, the charges against me were dismissed but I was served with an eviction notice.
The eviction notice stated the reason for the termination of my lease was several incidents involving the police at my residence. I immediately called the Frankfort Housing Authority as to why I was being evicted for being a victim of domestic violence. I spoke with the Public Housing Coordinator and he informed me that he did not believe I was a victim of domestic violence because the officer who reported to them about the incident failed to mention it was a domestic violence call made by myself and only told him that he served me with a citation. I was told to submit in writting a request for a formal hearing which I did the very next day. While at the Housing Authority office submitting the written request, I showed my many many bruises to the Executive Director so that she could see I was a victim for herself. She then informed me that if the calls to police were for protection, then I shouldn't worry because I had a very strong case.
My husband has abused me several more times since that first time I called the police and was issued the eviction notice. Now I am terrified to call the police or anyone for help so I just have to keep enduring the abuse out of fear. My soon-to-be ex husband keeps threatening me that he will call my landlord or call the police (which means eviction or possibly more charges) and even threatened to have me murdered if I don't take his abuse, try to make him leave my home, or try to leave him. I was finally able to file an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) against him and now his family has been following me while I'm driving my car and threatening me. I'm living in constant fear of his and his family's threats, of the police, and of losing my home.
My formal hearing was finally set for August 22, 2012. At the hearing, I presented all police reports and dispatch logs to prove they were protection calls, emergency protective order against my husband, divorce filings, and even showed them the new current bruises, abrasions, and even bite marks (pictured above) that I have sustained as a victim of violence. The Public Housing Coordinator's response to seeing the beat up condition of my body was, " I wasn't there when you sustained those marks so there is no proof it was from domestic violence." I was then informed that it did not matter why I called the police, even if it was for protection. They said having the police come to my residence for any reason is a violation of my lease as it would cause a disturbance. The final decision of the formal hearing was to move forward with my eviction.
If we as abused women can't even call the police who are there to serve and protect us in our communities for fear of our children becoming homeless, then where do we turn for help? No one should ever have to live with this type of fear. My 13 year old son asked me, "Mom, what if we end up no where?" I assured him not to worry, that mommy would always find our way and that we would never be "no where". I am asking for your signatures in helping me keep a secure home for my son. He needs stability in his life. This is an injustice and someone has to fight back against it. That's why I need your help! Our voices need to be heard.
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