In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, we are sharing some of information about housing discrimination that takes place against survivors of domestic violence. These tragic situations are unfortunately pervasive in our communities and we highly encourage you take have conversations with your loved ones about this topic.
Housing policies for landlords or realtors regarding domestic violence survivors are scarce, which creates fair housing challenges. Additionally, some policies of housing providers may (knowingly or unknowingly) have adverse outcomes for survivors of domestic violence. For example, a housing provider may have a “business reason” for evicting a tenant with frequent police calls or charging a tenant for damage caused to the premise, but in domestic violence scenarios, this would likely be discriminatory behavior by a housing provider.
In looking at the statistics about domestic violence, the person’s sex is the protected class affected by these policies. Intimate partner violence made up 20% of all non-fatal violent crime experienced by women in 2001. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, in 2010 about 33% of women in the US experience violence by an intimate partner.
Open Communities is here to investigate unequal or different treatment where a claim contains domestic violence based on sex. There may be direct evidence, where a housing provider denies a survivor because the property owner believes the woman will return to the perpetrator. There also may be unequal treatment where a property owner treats survivors of domestic violence different from victims of other crimes. Discrimination takes many forms.
Please don’t hesitate to call us if you or someone you know has any questions or may be involved in a discriminatory situation: (847) 501-5760 You may also e-mail Viki Rivkin, Director of Fair Housing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out this infographic from The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
Information gathered from Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan’s Fair Housing Fact #8