New Law Strengthens Protection for Domestic Violence Victims

Apr 21, 2017

Credit Alexey Stiop, 123rf stock photo

A new Kentucky law removes a barrier that victims of domestic violence often face when making the decision to leave their abuser. Kentucky lawmakers this session passed a bill giving people with long-term protective orders the ability to terminate a rental lease with 30 days notice to their landlord.

Tori Henninger heads Barren River Area Safe Space, a domestic violence shelter in Bowling Green.

Henninger said, "a couple of weeks ago, we were working with a victim who felt like she was being re-victimized because she was assaulted in her home, and unable to break her lease because of the high cost of breaking that lease."

 

She says the legislation will also help prevent financial hardships for the abused. Without that protection, victims often stay in abusive homes and relationships.

 

"What could happen if they break a lease, they could get a bad mark on their credit rating. When future landlords pull their credit report and see they were a bad renter, they might denied the ability to move on," said Henninger.

 

The legislation signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin will take effect in June. The same law will also make it illegal to evict any domestic violence victim who has a protective order.