Senate passes bill to help victims of domestic violence escape abuse

Sen. Brenda Gilmore: ‘No one should feel trapped by an abuser’

Sen. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville) presenting Senate bill 1033 on April 15.

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Senate passed a bill by Sen. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville) to help victims of domestic violence get away from an abuser.

Under Senate Bill 1033, victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking have the legal right to terminate a rental agreement within 30 days if they experience abuse from someone living with them.

“No one should feel trapped by an abuser — especially inside their home,” Sen. Gilmore said. “The Tennessee Senate took an important step forward in helping victims escape domestic violence.”

The Senate passed the bill 31–0. The House of Representatives passed the same legislation on April 12.

This bill, if signed into law by the governor, will create process that allows a tenant, who is a victim of domestic abuse, to terminate their rental or lease agreement upon providing documentation.

According to data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, there are about 70,000 reported cases of domestic violence each year. The most frequently reported relationship type for domestic abuse was boyfriend-girlfriend, followed by spouse and then ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.