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Freedom from Sexual Violence

Forging New Pathways to Safety: Housing Protections for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

Presented by:
Raana Simmons
Stevi Gray
Sarah Reimers Summers
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Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking often face the impossible choice of staying in an unsafe housing situation or becoming homeless and losing their housing. Facing a loss of housing often causes further emotional distress and revictimization as the perpetrators are most often known to the survivor. This also sets up a survivor for extreme financial hardship if they cannot afford to move. Colorado HB 17-1035 creates protections for victims of sexual assault and stalking in the same way current statute permits a domestic violence survivor to vacate a lease when it is no longer safe for them to live at the current address due to victimization. Additionally, the bill allows domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking survivors to seek verification of their abuse from an application assistant designated by the Address Confidentiality Program or a medical professional. This training will provide information on the changes implemented by HB 17-1035 as well as federal housing protections through VAWA that safeguard victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking and what advocates need to know to assist survivors in accessing these protections