A woman with bruises on her face holds a cell phone near her ear

Kansas City considers proposal to help domestic violence victims

July 25, 2018 - 1:47 pm

If someone is the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, they may need to move at a moments notice.

A new ordinance proposed by Kansas City Councilwoman Jolie Justus is on hold in the public safety and neighborhoods committee for at least a week. It would penalize landlords for not allowing victim tenents to break their lease.

Committee chair Alissia Canaday tells KMBZ money can be a barrier to safety.

"You can up and move whenever you feel like it, but most people don't, because they can't afford to pay for both their current residence and a new residence.  So they stay," she says.

Landlords could be fined up to $500 if abuse victims aren't allow to break their leases. But Canaday says the ordinance, in it's current form, doesn't excuse tenants from paying the balance of the lease.

"For many of these victims, their landlords essentially trap them in life-threatening situations by refusing to allow them to end their lease," said Lisa Flemming with the domestic violence shelter, Rose Brooks Center.

Fleming told the committee they had to turn away more than 3,200 adults and 2,700 children because they didn't have the bed space last year.


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