Campaign Launched to Raise Awareness of Sexual Harassment in Housing
The Justice Department and HUD recently released a public service announcement (PSA) aimed at raising awareness and reaching victims of sexual harassment in housing.
To enhance the effectiveness of the campaign, the Department and HUD enlisted the assistance of victims to share their experiences and help convey the message that sexual harassment in housing is a violation of civil rights. The 60-second video features three women who challenged their mistreatment in sexual harassment lawsuits brought under the Fair Housing Act. These women share their stories of abuse and the impact the experience had on their lives.
The PSA is a joint effort between the Department and HUD, designed to raise awareness and make it easier for victims all over the country to find resources and report harassment. HUD distributed the video today to all public housing agencies across the United States. The video is intended to air in all national media markets and will be distributed by social media to followers of the Justice Department and HUD, and amplified by other government agencies, partners, and organizations. In addition, the PSA will be circulated to fair housing groups, legal aid organizations, and other related partners across the country. The Justice Department also previewed the PSA last week at two U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Middle District of Florida and the District of Colorado, during separate sexual harassment in housing roundtables, engaging over 80 local law enforcement officers, fair housing organizations, universities, civil rights organizations, and other groups.
“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,” John Gore, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “Our goal at the Justice Department is to make more people aware that no one should have to choose between a home and the right to be free from sexual harassment.”
“A person’s home is where they should feel the safest, not to live in fear of being subjected to sexual harassment,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “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.”
The PSA is posted on the Department’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJusticeDepartment, [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z76bA-mf7o0] and HUD’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/HUDchannel, [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R3Q8ewWJas&feature=youtu.be].