Leeann was trying to escape physical abuse from her husband and create a safe environment for her four-year-old daughter. However, her estranged husband continued the violence in front of their daughter during his parental visits in Leeann’s home. He was charged and arrested for domestic violence after Leann reported the abuse to the police. Following through on her lease agreement, Leeann reported the abuse and arrests to her subsidized housing landlord. She was stunned when she received an eviction notice citing her for allowing a person onto the property who committed a crime.
Unable to afford an attorney, Leeann reached out to legal aid for help. Her legal aid attorney successfully argued that Leeann’s housing rights were protected under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which prohibits subsidized housing landlords from evicting survivors due to incidents of violence. As a result, the eviction was dismissed. In addition, Leeann’s positive outcome lead to policy changes related to how victims of domestic violence are treated by subsidized housing landlords. Victims no longer have to worry about losing their homes due to violence that is out of their control.