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Women, Take Heed: Being Assaulted Too Many Times Can Lead To Eviction

by Abby Zimet

Okay, that seems to be it for good news. The ACLU is suing Norristown, PA. on behalf of Lakisha Briggs, who faced eviction under the town's "disorderly behavior” ordinance after she called the police when her boyfriend beat her up. After the police told her that was her first "strike," she was too scared to call again when the by-now-former boyfriend a. threw a brick at her and b. stabbed her in the neck - but the neighbors called. A Norristown spokesperson said the ordinance does not punish victims of domestic violence,” which he called "abhorrent to society." Actually, says the ACLU, it does; it also violates tenants’ First Amendment rights, the Violence Against Women Act and the Fair Housing Act. Bitter icing on the cake: Many other towns and cities nationwide have similar so-called "nuisance ordinances," with poor and minority women their primary victims.