Tuesday, January 14, 2014

1st Bill from PA Agenda for Women's Health Passes House

YOUR ACTION MADE A DIFFERENCE! 1st Bill from PA Agenda for Women's Health Passes House 
Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 1796 after adopting amendment A05141 on the House floor. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) believes a victim of a crime should never be punished for seeking help from those who are charged to serve and protect. In response to your advocacy, your Representatives showed that they agree! Please click here to thank your Representative for supporting victims of domestic violence by voting "YES" to House Bill 1796. 

SUMMARY OF HOUSE BILL 1796
House Bill 1796, sponsored by Representative Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), would prohibit local nuisance ordinances from penalizing tenants for calling police to respond to domestic violence and other emergencies. Rep. Stephens recently offered amendment A05141 to the bill that would ensure victims are protected from nuisance ordinances whether or not the person making the call to police knows that a crime is taking place within the home.

Victims should not be forced to make the impossible choice between stable housing and police protection. The case of Briggs v. Borough of Norristown illustrates the harsh options with which victims are faced. Ms. Briggs, the plaintiff in the case, was repeatedly attacked by her abuser, but each time refrained from calling the police because she feared that calling for help would result in her eviction due to a nuisance ordinance. Ms. Briggs' fears came true after a particularly brutal attack in which her ex-boyfriend slashed her throat with broken glass. After the attack, a neighbor called for emergency assistance. Ms. Briggs was airlifted to the hospital, and shortly thereafter the city forced her landlord to institute eviction proceedings. 

The bill will now move to the state Senate for consideration. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED ADVOCACY
TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN HOMES ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA!

QUESTIONS? Contact Abigail Hurst, PCADV Policy Specialist, at ahurst@pcadv.org or 717-545-6400x157 for more information. 
 

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