The Other War at Home: Chronic Nuisance Laws and the Revictimization of Survivors of Domestic Violence

The Other War at Home: Chronic Nuisance Laws and the Revictimization of Survivors of Domestic Violence



This Note discusses the unlikely intersection of local chronic nuisance ordinances and domestic violence. It posits that chronic nuisance law grants law enforcement, or third parties acting in a police capacity, the ability to revictimize survivors of domestic violence, disproportionately impacting women of color and poor women. Using the example of Lakisha Briggs, a Black woman who faced the threat of eviction from her home after her ex-boyfriend attacked her and her neighbor contacted law enforcement for assistance, the Note discusses the prevalence of these ordinances and their impact. Part I sets out by defining both domestic violence and chronic nuisance law, explaining how chronic nuisance law was revitalized as a policing tool beginning in the 1980s during the War on Drugs. Part II discusses the rationales behind chronic nuisance ordinances and their impact on survivors of domestic violence. Part III lays out strategies that advocates can use to combat the use of chronic nuisance ordinances against survivors of domestic violence. By considering the impacts of chronic nuisance law on survivors of domestic violence, antiviolence advocates can better acknowledge the impact of police violence against survivors, particularly women of color and poor women, and create strategies to combat it.

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