The U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, hosted a roundtable today for community organizations to discuss the problem of sexual harassment in housing. The meeting was held in Tampa and live-streamed to attendees in Orlando and Jacksonville. More than 50 community partners, including local law enforcement agencies, legal aid offices, fair housing organizations, domestic violence centers, housing authorities, and other housing providers from across the district attended.
The Department of Justice, through the various U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Civil Rights Division, enforces the federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, and disability. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by the Act.
Many instances of sexual harassment in housing continue to go unreported. Not only should victims of sexual harassment be aware of the Justice Department’s enforcement efforts, but also a concerted effort must be made by the public at-large to encourage others to become involved and report acts of misconduct. In addition to the local authorities, victims should report violations to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Department encourages anyone who has experienced sexual harassment in housing, or knows someone who has, to contact them by calling 1-(844) 380-6178 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In support of the Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative, U.S. Attorney Chapa Lopez has produced Public Service Announcements (PSAs) specifically designed to raise awareness, and make it easier for victims all over the country to find resources and report harassment.
Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of a civil rights violation may also file a complaint with the U.S. Attorney's Office.