The Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a public service campaign Monday to fight against sexual harassment in housing facilities. Though the project was announced Monday, the video at the center of the campaign was posted to the DOJ YouTube page on July 16.
The one-minute video features three women sharing their experiences with sexual harassment from landlords. All three described how they were pressured to sleep with their landlords or be evicted.
“Sexual harassment in housing is illegal,” a caption reads, “You have a right to feel safe in your home.”
One woman described her fear of her landlord being able to use his key to access her apartment whenever he wanted.
The PSA is a joint project for the Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The video was sent to all Public Housing Agencies and will be given to other housing and advocacy groups across the country.
“Unfortunately, there are still too many landlords and managers who attempt to prey on vulnerable individuals. The launch of the nationwide PSAs is an important step in proliferating the stories of brave women and men across the country in order to raise awareness and help other victims,” Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division John Gore said in a statement.
The video ends with contact and reference information for both the DOJ and HUD’s fair housing resources.
“This campaign will let the public know that they have help should they find themselves a victim of this type of behavior. The Justice Department and HUD are committed to working together to address the problem and protect their housing rights,” HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Anna Maria Farias said.
The PSA is part of the DOJ’s larger initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing. In April, the DOJ and HUD ruled out a joint task force to crackdown on landlords abusing their power over tenants.
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