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Early Lease Termination Under G.L. c. 186, § 24: An Essential Escape Route for Tenants Who Are Facing Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking

Survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking often have to leave their homes and relocate to a safer place with little notice or planning in order to avoid harm by a perpetrator who knows where they live.  My client Olivia[i] (whose name and identifying information I have changed to protect her privacy) was raped by a college classmate. Olivia’s rapist was also her upstairs neighbor. After the incident she saw him coming and going from the building, in the elevator, and around other common areas. She was terrified of what he might do to her and ashamed every time she saw him. 
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