Bill Would Let Domestic Violence Victims Break Leases Early

A state lawmaker has filed a bill to let victims of domestic abuse terminate their housing leases early without penalty.

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State Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, said the measure would help people get out of dangerous situations.

“We know that a number of victims of domestic violence do not leave for many reasons, and one of them is an economic reason that they cannot afford to go somewhere else,” he said.

Holcomb said victims also need anonymity as to where they live, which he said the measure is also trying to address.

According to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, at least 121 people died in domestic violence incidents in Georgia in 2016.

“There are many domestic violence victims who suffer for a very long time and then ultimately, they are killed. It is horribly sad, but that’s why we’re doing this and that’s what we’re trying to avoid,” Holcomb said.

According to the National Housing Law Project, 27 states had early termination laws for domestic violence victims as of 2016.