Theis bill part of package to protect domestic violence victims

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Victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking would be able to hide their physical address from offenders thanks to a bipartisan plan recently introduced in the state Senate.

“Protecting domestic and sexual assault survivors from their aggressors is vital to their peace of mind and long-term health,” said Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, who sponsored Senate Bill 75 in the package. “This commonsense, bipartisan plan will serve to proactively prevent perpetrators from further harming survivors.”

The seven-bill plan, Senate Bills 70-76, would enable victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking to obtain a confidential address for official documents, such as a driver license, and mail correspondence to help protect them from their past offenders. Theis’ bill would allow participants to obtain a state identification card with the program’s designated address.

Specifically:

• SB 70, sponsored by Sen. Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, would establish the Address Confidentiality Program Act to prohibit the disclosure of the personal information of survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

• SB 71, sponsored by Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, would prohibit an abuse or assault survivor’s voter information from being disclosed.

• SB 72, sponsored by Johnson, would prohibit schools from discussing records with parents if such disclosure is not permitted under a personal protection order.

• SB 73, sponsored by Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, would enable victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking who are a part of the program to obtain a driver license with a designated address.

• SB 74, sponsored by Sen. Erica Geiss, D-Taylor, would enable program participants to be issued enhanced driver licenses and state personal ID cards with a designated address.

• SB 75, sponsored by Theis, would allow participants to obtain a state identification card with the program’s designated address.

• SB 76, sponsored by Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township, would exempt participants from jury duty.

Michigan would join 38 states with similar laws if the plan is enacted.

The bills have been referred to committee for consideration.

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