PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Victims of domestic abuse may soon have new protections from being evicted in Philadelphia, under a bill approved today by a City Council committee.

Some dramatic testimony dominated the hearing.  Several women who have been abused by their husbands or ex-husbands testified that they couldn’t get out of leases when they tried to move.

“There were several times when, as a renter, I was not able to escape the abuse and not able to break the lease — which made it difficult for me to leave or even find a new place,” said Vernetta Burger.

Others told Council that they faced the opposite problem: forced eviction when a landlord sided with a husband.

The Council committee gave preliminary approval to a bill that addresses both circumstances, allowing an abuse victim to be let out of a lease with documented proof, and preventing evictions of abuse victims.

The measure will go up for a final vote by the full City Council next month.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060

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