End "Eviction Ordinances" that Remove Domestic Violence Victims from their Homes
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Did you know that more than 2,000 cities in the country have local ordinances that actually can lead to victims of domestic violence being kicked out of their homes and apartments?
They're called "nuisance ordinances" and they've been used in cities around the country to evict people when law enforcement officers are called multiple times to a property. But while their intent might be to deter crime, their practical effect has a terrible impact on survivors of domestic violence.
The ACLU has filed several lawsuits on these ordinances, including one in Missouri after a woman named Rosetta Watson was evicted from her apartment after calling police on an ex-boyfriend who broke into her apartment. In one incident he attacked her in her bed and punched her in the face, and again broken in and stabbed her in the legs.
Missouri should follow the lead of other states and work to end how these "nuisance ordinances" punish victims of domestic violence.
These laws vary by city, but an example is Maplewood, Missouri where Rosetta lived. There, residents can be evicted for calling the police to a property more than two times in a 6 month period.
States like Illinois, right next door to Missouri, have tried to address the impact these laws have on survivors of domestic violence. In November 2015, state legislation was enacted that prevented local communities from using "nuisance" laws to evict survivors of domestic violence. But in thousands of communities around the country, the real effect of these laws is that people can be evicted just for calling the police on their abusers.
In the Missouri lawsuit, the ACLU stated that cities like the one Rosetta Watson lived in "designate certain residents to be nuisances simply because they have been the subject of multiple police calls, regardless of whether they did anything wrong." That kind of policy fails victims of domestic violence.
Demand that the Missouri state government, as well as Missouri's two U.S. Senators, take a firm stand against nuisance laws in the state, and stand with domestic violence survivors who deserve protection and safety from their landlords and law enforcement officers, not eviction.
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