Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Gov. Deval Patrick signs domestic violence victim bill

Supporters say the new law will give victims who live in private housing similar protections to those already available under federal law to residents of public housing.

Those protections include allowing victims to break a lease without undue financial penalty if his or her safety is in jeopardy.

Tenants would be required to give landlords written notification of their situation. Landlords can also request independent verification of their status as victims, though this information would have to be kept confidential.

The new law also lets victims have their locks changed.

Patrick signed the bill in his Statehouse office Thursday afternoon.

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