Nevada News Service
year — to be able to break a rental lease in order to get away from
their abuser. By the end of this week, they should also be able to
access free help on the Internet.
In five out of the last six years, the Silver State has topped the
national list for a particular type of domestic violence fatality.
It’s an alarming statistic, said April Green, who directs the Domestic
Violence Project at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.
“We’re number one for homicides against women committed by men,” she
said, “and a lot of times, the victim’s ability to get away from the
abuser is the critical piece to staying alive.”
Green says under the new measure passed by Nevada lawmakers, a person
can break a lease as long as they act within 90 days of the domestic
violence incident and follow the proper procedures in advising the
James Berchtold, supervising attorney, Clark County Civil Law
Self-Help Center, said his staff has been busy preparing online
documents that will soon go live at
“On that website, there’s going to be the requirements and the
obligations of the landlords and the tenants,” he said. “There’s also
going to be a sample letter that someone can actually fill out and
send to the landlord, should they need to terminate their lease.”
While the law presents a potential lifeline to many victims who have
felt trapped by the economic penalties of breaking a lease, Berchtold
pointed out that landlords also get protections.
“The law gives the landlord the right to go after the person who
actually perpetrated the violence on the victim for any outstanding
rent, any damages to the property,” he explained.
He said the online documents are being finalized and should be posted
The Nevada homicide statistics were compiled by the Violence Policy
More information is available at www.lacsn.org.