Stop Bullying Bill, Mass. S604

I urge you to support S604, A bill to protect citizens from bullying, sponsored (by request) by Senator Joan Lovely, Second Essex. It provides urgently needed relief from bullying for citizens living with age and/or disability in subsidized housing.

Our Federal, State, and local governments and agencies are tasked with providing safe, decent housing for citizens unable to pay full market rents. Many thousands of elderly citizens and citizens living with various disabilities enjoy the benefits of affordable rents, enabled by a variety of low-interest loans, tax breaks, and rent subsidies to the landlord, all provided as incentives by government agencies.

However, in some multi-family subsidized housing there is no way to get relief from bullying. Bullying and even hate speech targets individuals living with various disabilities, as well as elders and veterans. Targeted individuals may be abused and harassed, and suffer both physical and emotional trauma, forced to leave, or even evicted.

Bullying attacks the safety, dignity, and security of those targeted, indeed of all residents.

Targets of bullying experience the desperation that comes when there is no avenue of relief. People who live in subsidized housing projects today have no source of effective intervention and relief, they may not have the resources to move, and given long waiting lists, not have an alternative residence where they could go.

Bullying festers because of the lack of appropriate resources and interventions. The goal of S604 is to remedy and correct these abuses by providing tools for management and residents, and oversight by the Commonwealth. The main benefits of the bill are:

* To require landlords and management to have and enforce sound, evidence-based policies on bullying; and to involve tenants in the ongoing efforts.

* To assure mechanisms of external oversight and enforcement by the Commonwealth.

* To provide access for tenants to an ombudsman and to the courts to seek relief.

* Support for training and education including the development and evaluation of materials and methods, with broad dissemination in all channels, and instruction by qualified trainers.

* Support for research into the causes and conditions that lead to bullying, evaluation of educational and remedial methods, and development and evaluation of demonstration programs to create effective, evidence-based interventions.

I urge you to support S604, and provide elders and people living with a disability to enjoy a peaceful, quiet life and a joyful community experience.

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Thank you.

Sponsor

Stop Bullying Coalition

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For updates, contact: StopBullyingCoalition@gmail.com

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Discussion

  • Shirley Lynn Watson The current "gang" of bullies have existed here for 3 years before I came and nothing has been done.

  • Shirley Lynn Watson As I see most of the problem to be: Management seems to be afraid of these "bullies" and favors them more than the abused by them. They will terminate the abused and not the abusers.

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Recent signatures

  • username

    Stephanie taft

    3 months ago Comments: Please include your email again here to get updates. : I am constantly a target bullying. I'm a lovable person but yet people like to target me. I live in subsidized housing. I moved here a month ago. I moved because I was being bullied in my old apartment. I thought that would end when I moved here. even if it was around the corner. mommabear564@gmail.com
    Your zip code: 74525
  • username

    Karen Nicholl-Bunting

    3 months ago Comments: Please include your email again here to get updates. : I live at the Chestnut Gardens apartments for the elderly and disabled. The property manager continues to turn her head from the bullying that goes on in this building because she had a relationship with one of the bully's relatives. This has to stop, so I thank you for recognizing this problem.
    Your zip code: 01902
  • username

    Diana A. Clark

    4 months ago Comments: Please include your email again here to get updates. : I too am being bullied by a neighbor.(patsy miller) I've tried to get help but all I've gotten from management and council on ageing is excuses after excuses. After reading the story of MARGRET, I hold no hope for me. However I refuse to give up. I will continue to fight until something is done to stop the bullying . I am a resident of Acadian H. Apartments.
    Your zip code: 70583
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