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Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Public Policy Action

Pending Legislation

YOUR ACTION MADE A DIFFERENCE!

Thursday, October 16, 2014, the Pennsylvania senate unanimously passed House Bill 1796 after removing a problematic amendment having nothing to do with housing. The legislature sent the bill to the Governor for approval. Advocates from across the Commonwealth urged the senate to stand up for victims of domestic violence and pass this important housing protection.

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 senators showed that they agree! Please click here to thank your senator for supporting victims of domestic violence by voting "YES" to House Bill 1796. Please also give your senator a call and thank them for their support. You can find your senator's number by clicking here and you can access the roll call for the final vote here.

SUMMARY OF HOUSE BILL 1796
House Bill 1796, sponsored by Representative Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), prohibits local nuisance ordinances from penalizing tenants for calling police to respond to domestic violence and other emergencies. 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. With the passage of House Bill 1796, such policies will be eliminated.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TENACIOUS ADVOCACY AND SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

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

PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATION

Legislation That Did Not Pass the General Assembly
2013 - 2014

PCADV is still working to ensure that this proposed legislation safeguards domestic violence victims and their families. Summaries include the status of these bills as of January 2015.

PCADV’s Goals – Funding for Victims

At the federal level, PCADV’s primary legislative goals are to:

  • Fully fund the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)
  • Protect and increase the cap on the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)
Visit our Funding page for more information about these vital programs.

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