Skip to main content
Español

Fighting Back Against Sexual Harassment in Housing

Date: February 19, 2019
Graphic of housing sexual harassment initiative by department of justice

Finding housing can be stressful, especially if money’s tight, you’re on your own, and you don’t have a lot of options. And when someone who can grant you a place to live sexually harasses you, it can leave you feeling unsafe and humiliated.

According to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative, sexual harassment in housing happens when a landlord, rental manager, maintenance worker, loan officer--anyone with control over your housing situation:

  • Demands sexual acts or sex to let you rent, continue renting, or buy a home, or
  • Subjects you to other unwanted sexual conduct that makes it hard to keep living in or feeling comfortable in your home

Sexual harassment can take the form of comments about your body, sexual talk or photos, exposure, touching you without your consent, and more. Harassers may promise repairs, a lower rent or mortgage rate, or to prevent your eviction if you agree to their sexual demands. They use their power to exploit your vulnerability.

But you are not alone. It happens all over the country, and chances are, the person who harassed you may have harassed others too. Sexual harassment in housing is illegal. And fair housing is your right.

Did you know there’s something you can do about it? Report the harassment by calling DOJ’s Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative at 1-844-380-6178 or emailing fairhousing@usdoj.gov. You can give as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing. And if you include contact information, they can follow up.

Depending on your situation, DOJ may

DOJ works with other government agencies including HUD, law enforcement, and state and local governments to help victims of sexual harassment. And DOJ’s Civil Rights Division works with U.S. attorneys’ offices around the country to investigate and bring lawsuits about sexual harassment in housing.

Even if the sexual harassment happened many years ago, even if you said “yes” to your harasser, or even if you have a criminal record, DOJ may be able to help. Find more government services for your family at USA.gov. Learn about programs to help you locate affordable rental housing, find free or low-cost legal aid, and get help with your bills.

You might also like …

  • USAGov’s Five Tips for the 2021 Tax Season

    As the tax season approaches, you may have questions about filing your federal, state and business taxes in 2021. Economic Impact Payments, tax credits and other relief provided in 2020 have many people wondering how to file during the pandemic.

  • Get Help From USAGov This 2020 Holiday Season

    The 2020 holiday season is one like never before. Due to the pandemic, people across the U.S. have adjusted the way they work, shop, and connect with others.

  • What’s the Difference Between Government Grants and Loans?

    Are you looking to get help paying for your education? Does your non-profit organization need financial assistance to complete a community project? The government offers financial help, but you may not know what’s available and where to find it.

  • USAGov Answers FAQs About Voting

    The coronavirus pandemic makes the 2020 election season different than any before it. And it’s leaving a lot of people looking for information on how, where, and when to cast their vote.

  • USAGov’s Quick Guide to Voting in 2020

    Election Day 2020 is just about six weeks away. With voter registration deadlines approaching soon, it’s time to make sure you’re ready.

Share This Page:
Top