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Victims of Domestic Violence Protected from Housing Discrimination

New York State’s amendment to the Real Property Law prohibits housing discrimination against domestic violence victims. A bill has been passed allowing for civil lawsuits for violations of the law. An exemption of the bill applies only to an owner occupied building with two or fewer units. This new bill will also add to the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law, giving protections and a defense to victims in eviction cases. The additions to the Real Property Law and the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law will provide additional protection against discrimination for victims of domestic violence.

Every year, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of assault by an intimate partner. While the passing of this bill will not prevent domestic violence, it can aid the victims of domestic violence.  Eighty five percent of domestic violence victims are women and an estimated 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during their lifetimes; therefore in most cases discrimination against a domestic violence victim is discrimination against a woman.

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