Legislative advocacy

BARCC is a national leader in the fight against sexual violence. Advocating for and supporting legislative reforms that help survivors and empower communities is a key part of what we do. You can help by telling your representatives in government how you feel about sexual violence and what's being done to punish and prevent it. Sign up for action alerts and we will let you know when there is legislation that needs your support.

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New Housing Law now in effect

Victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and stalking have increased rights and protections under a new housing law designed to help them be safer in their apartments or get out of a lease if that is needed to escape a perpetrator.  The law, An Act Relative to Housing Rights For Victims Of Domestic Violence, Rape, Sexual Assault And Stalking, was signed by Gov. Patrick on January 3rd and went into effect April 3, 2013.

Under this new law, survivors'  have the following rights:

  •  To break their lease.
  •  To have their apartment locks changed.
  •  To not experience retaliation by their landlord, or a potential landlord in the future, for having had to break their lease or have their locks changed.
  • To not be evicted because they got a restraining order or called the police.
  • To not be forced by a landlord to waive these rights when signing a new lease.

To find out more about the provisions of this new law, download a Frequently Asked Questions about all the provisions or summaries specifically about the Lock Change Provisions and the Lease Change Provisions.

Read more about this new law in our blog post New protections for survivors in Massachusetts.

“Inviting my friends and family to walk with me at the Walk for Change finally gave them something to do to show their support and care for me. ”

24-hour hotline: 800.841.8371

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