(UnitedVoice.com) – The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a great deal of strain on the American people. Many are forced to remain at home, worrying about the spread of the virus (as of April 19, 2020, the US has over three-quarters of a million confirmed cases) and wondering if they have enough money to make ends meet. Now some are facing another problem when they find themselves strapped for rent money: landlords turned sexual predators.
— National Fair Housing Alliance (@natfairhouse) April 16, 2020
There are stories coming out every day about landlords across the country graciously reducing the monthly payment that is due or even foregoing it completely to help their tenants. Then there are those who see the current crisis as a means to satisfy their baser needs.
Advocacy groups and state agencies are reporting an increased number of complaints where the property owners are “requesting” sexual favors in lieu of rent from vulnerable tenants. It’s a common enough scenario where a young woman strikes out on her own and works as a server or even an exotic dancer to meet expenses while going to college or waiting for her “big break” into acting. Then comes the person who can quite literally send them out to live on the streets saying: “sleep with me or get out.”
History is rife with examples of people taking advantage of those who are vulnerable. Some like to think that 21st-Century America is above all that. Those people are either ignorant of the facts or delusional. If you or anybody you know has been victimized in this way, call your local legal-aid group or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
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