Theis: Address confidentiality program awaits governor’s signature

LANSING, Mich. — A legislative plan to create an address confidentiality program that would help protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking from their attackers was finalized by the Senate on Friday.

Under the plan, victims would be able to obtain a confidential address for official documents, such as driver’s licenses, and mail correspondence to help protect them from their past offenders.

“Assault survivors deserve to live their lives in peace without fear of being tracked down by their attackers,” said Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, who sponsored Senate Bill 75, which would allow participants to have their designated address printed on official state of Michigan identification cards. “These bills provide a simple way of restoring their peace of mind by shielding their real physical address from suspecting eyes and those who may wish to do them further harm. I am grateful for the strong bipartisan support the bills received and am hopeful the governor signs them soon.”

The program would also afford children the same address confidentiality if they are at risk of being threatened or physically harmed, or if they or their parents or guardians are victims of domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, rape or sexual battery. A school would not be allowed to disclose the address of a pupil or a pupil’s parents or guardians if they are program participants.

A program participant’s location would also be made confidential in the state’s Qualified Voter File system and participants would be exempt participants from jury duty.

If signed into law, Michigan would join with most other states that have similar laws in place.

Senate Bills 70-76 now go to the governor for signature.

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