Bill to let victims of sexual assault, stalking break leases passes Colorado Senate

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DENVER — A bill that would allow the victims of sexual assault and stalking cases to break their leases because of safety concerns passed the Colorado Senate on Tuesday and heads to the governor’s desk for approval.

The bill would extend the current law, which allows victims of domestic violence who are afraid for their safety or the safety of their children, to terminate rental agreements.

HB17-1035, sponsored by Rep. Dominique Jackson, D-Arapahoe County, and Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley, is designed to let victims move out of their residence to flee their attackers without facing the financial barrier that can come with breaking a lease.

“Survivors who have been attacked or harassed in their own homes should be able to protect themselves without facing financial ruin,” Jackson said in a statement.

“According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men experience stalking at some point in their lives. Of those women, 81 percent were also physically abused and 31 percent were sexually assaulted,” Senate Republicans said in a statement released Monday.

Victims would be asked to produce a police report, restraining order or letter from a medical professional attesting to the crime “in order to create a pathway to safety for victims,” according to Senate Republicans.

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