In a Town Near You, People Are Being Evicted From Their Homes Becau...

In cities and towns across the country, little-known local laws penalize calls to the police and can get people kicked out of their homes. These laws create a perverted point system where every 911 call or report of criminal activity at a rental property counts as a strike against renters and their landlords. And it doesn’t matter whether people called the police for help or that they were the victim of the crime.

These laws go by different names: nuisance ordinances, crime-free ordinances, disorderly behavior ordinances. But they all do one thing: They tell landlords that unless they punish tenants for calling 911 or when a crime occurs in their homes, they will face steep fines, loss of rental permits, or property closure. Not surprisingly, landlords typically “abate” the “nuisance” by evicting the tenant and everyone in the home without any consideration of the circumstances that led to the call.

In Norristown, Pennsylvania, a tenant’s boyfriend physically assaulted her, and she called 911. The police arrested her boyfriend but told her that if she made more calls to the police, she would be evicted. After this, the tenant was terrified to call the police despite her boyfriend’s escalating violence. When he came back again and stabbed her in the neck, her neighbors called the police and she was airlifted to the hospital. The city pressured her landlord to evict, and days later, she received an eviction notice.

In Binghamton, New York, a tenant was a victim of a home invasion and burglary, and his neighbor called the police. The tenant told the police that he didn’t know his assailants or why he was targeted. But the city cited the landlord, and the landlord assured city officials that all tenants in the building had been or would be evicted.
... these local laws have a disproportionate impact on victims of domestic violence by exacerbating housing insecurities that are unique to survivors — because securing and maintaining adequate housing is often challenging — and further increasing victims’ likelihood of becoming homeless. Additionally, while some nuisance ordinances are supposed to address crime in a community, they often undermine public safety by deterring crime victims and their neighbors from calling the police, emboldening the perpetrators. [emphasis mine]

I quote a reddit comment on this.

I thought the fact that the police are there to protect the privileged and repress the masses was a bit more nuanced, but shit if it ain't written on the fuc*ing wall here.

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I'd love to see what the justification was for the passage of these laws.  There's usually at least some hand-waving, such as the trans bathroom-bills being sold as protecting little girls from perverted men who want to invade women's bathrooms and molest them.

It's all bullshit, but there's usually something that will help bring a few of the more compassionate legislators over to the side of the bigots, if the compassionate legislators are ignorant enough on the issue and buy the hand-waving.  And then there are plenty of legislators who are just bigots, straight up.

I bet, though, that many of these laws have been on the books for decades and were originally passed in order to keep "undesirables" out of small towns ... ie. black and brown people.

Sadly, when family violence occurs, it crosses all racial groups:

Women reported experiencing physical assault by an intimate partner at least once during their lifetime:

American Indians and Alaskan Natives (30.7%); 

mixed race (27.0%); 

African-Americans (26.3%); 

Whites (21.3%); 

Hispanic, (21.2%); 

Asian and Pacific Islander women (12.8%). 

The low rate for Asian and Pacific Islander women may be attributed to underreporting. 

~ Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep't of Just., NCJ 181867, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence,at 26 (2000), 

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/181867.htm

~ see also Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence in Asian Communities, 2005, 

http://www.apiahf.org/apidvinstitute/PDF/Fact_Sheet.pdf

 

Women reported experiencing physical assault by an intimate partner at least once during their lifetime
American Indians and Alaskan Natives (30.7%).
mixed race (27.0%);
African-Americans (26.3%);
Whites (21.3%);
Hispanic, (21.2%);
Asian and Pacific Islander women (12.8%),
The low rate for Asian and Pacific Islander women may be attributed to underreporting.
~ Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep't of Just., NCJ 181867, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence,at 26 (2000),
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/181867.htm ;
~ see also Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence in Asian Communities, 2005,
http://www.apiahf.org/apidvinstitute/PDF/Fact_Sheet.pdf

Female victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
non-Hispanic Black women (43.7%);
American Indian or Alaska Native women (46.0%);
multiracial non-Hispanic women (53.8%)
Males In the U.S. reported experiencing rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
American Indian or Alaska Native men (45.3%);
Black men, (38.6%);
multiracial non-Hispanic men (39.3%);

The most common age when intimate partner violence is first experienced by
women age 18-24 (38.6%),
age 11-17 (22.4%),
age 35-44 (6.8%) and
age 45+ (2.5%).
men the most common age is
age 18-24 (47.1%);
age 25-34 (30.6%);
age 11-17 (15.0%);
age 35-44 (10.3%);
age 45+ (5.5%).
~ National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, Atlanta, GA, and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's likely, Joseph. They said,

In Lancaster, California, according to the Department of Justice, the chronic nuisance ordinance was used in a racially discriminatory manner by the city to incentivize landlords to evict African-American tenants.

appalling!

Attempting frantically to keep a family together, many battered spouses make dangerous decisions that are against the children's best interests as well as their own. Many women and men feel responsible for the abuse failing to recognize the perversion comes from the abuser. Child abuse has the similar effect; children often feel responsible for the abuse and abusive parents often claim the child "caused" the assault. 

Too many institutions of society support this insanity. The extended family too often blames the abused spouse or children when an attack occurs. Education sadly teaches gender roles to students instead of mentally and physically healthy behaviors. The medical profession too often prescribes tranquilizers to battered family members instead of reporting signs of abuse. Too many psychologists attempt to prepare the victims of violence to "do better" at not upsetting the abuser. Law enforcement often blames victims, failing to recognize the misuse of power and authority within the household. Abusers too often receive jail time instead of mandated anger management control. Jail offers training to abusers, male and female, that supports their abusive mentality. 

The healthy response to family violence is intolerance of violence by all the institutions of society. Problem-solving, conflict resolution and communication training for all family member offers an alternative to incarceration for the abuser and gives them options. 

Because family violence disrupts the societal wellbeing of a community, the crime of domestic assault commits a violation against culture. Each family member has a right to freedom from attack in his and her home. Allowing an abuser the right to return to the home before appropriate training of the entire group rightly is out of the hands of the family who all too often forgive before crucial changes take place in the individuals. 

Mental health professionals need the training to understand the dynamics of domestic violence. Use of violence in the home passes from one generation to another. The only way I know to end inter-generational brutality is to make an intervention, early and decisively. 

I can hear the screams of protest already, thinking the government has no place in domestic affairs. What society has done in the past maintains and perpetuates the generational nature of the crime. Abuse, assault, violence are rightly called a crime. Don't think by using the name, "discipline" changes the reality of intergenerational crime,  

I'd known that law enforcers often blame the victims, but not that "many psychologists attempt to prepare the victims of violence to 'do better' at not upsetting the abuser." They're professionals at this stuff, there's no excuse.

I agree with all of that, Joan.

Sadly, I know about it first hand, and many, many women reported psychiatric and medical help provided coping strategies instead of mental health options when I taught in the women's programs at our local Community College. When women get training in communication skills they usually teach their children and their relationships improve. The women who realize they can't make the necessary changes for their abusive husbands, the marriages usually ended if the men refused to participate. Those women left the marriage without the heavy sense of shame, guilt, and responsibility for the break-up. Women without such training very often can't break away, or if they do, they feel responsible for the failed marriage.  

Thanks for sharing. You'd mentioned something of that earlier and I'd forgotten.

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