You can always tell if someone is a victim of domestic violence, and there is always someone who asks, “Why don't you call the police?”, the answer is almost always fear, fear to further abuse, fear of what people will say, fear of being alone, the list goes on.
But now another fear has been added to the list, in this case it is a fear that these calls may lead to eviction. That is correct, people can end up losing their homes even if they were a victim of domestic abuse.
There is a law in several United States Counties called “Nuisance property” which protects neighbors from those living in homes where conflict abounds. This means that people who call 911 several times can lose their house for living in a violent environment if they are visited by the police too often.
This law is very, very far from protecting victims of domestic violence, given that if they call 911 more than 3 times in a period of 4 months, the property owner can request that the tenant be evicted from the home.
This was the case of Lakisha Briggs, who spoke with The New York times about her situation. Briggs was living with a former partner, an abusive man that beat her, and the last time he got out of prison she was more afraid of calling the police for help rather than facing her attacker.
Because of this, the man stabbed Lakisha in the throat, and a neighbor had to call 911, the officer told her that the apartment owner where Lakisha lived requested her eviction due to personal problems, leaving her and her 3 year old daughter out on the street.
Granted that did not stay the case for too long, given that after her situation was known, several organizations came to her defense and they immediately started their case against such an absurd law.
One of the counties that currently have this law is the state of Illinois.
What do you think about this “Nuisance Property” Law?