Lawmakers introduce bipartisan plan to protect abuse survivors

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Suggested caption: State Reps. Kristy Pagan, Kyra Harris Bolden, Diana Farrington, Daire Rendon, and Julie Calley submitting their bipartisan package of bills to support the Address Confidentiality Program for survivors of abuse and sexual assault in Michigan at the Capitol in Lansing (Courtesy of MI House Democrats Photo Archive).

LANSING — Michigan lawmakers have introduced House Bills that would strengthen protections for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

State reps. Kristy Pagan (D-Canton), Kyra Harris Bolden (D-Southfield), Diana Farrington (R-Utica), Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) and Julie Calley (R-Portland) drafted the bipartisan, bicameral plan last week.

The bills follow Senate Bills 70-76 which will establish an Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) in Michigan.

The ACP will allow survivors to keep their addresses confidential from the offenders. HBs 5054-5058 will reinforce the protections established under the ACP.

“Survivors have already lived through unspeakable trauma; we must do all we can to protect their privacy, ensure their safety and prevent any further abuse,” Pagan said.

HBs 5054-5058 will provide survivors with the greatest  protection possible in Michigan. SBs 70-76 were reported from the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee today.

“Once a survivor escapes from an abusive situation, keeping their new address a secret from their abuser can be a matter of life or death,” Farrington said. “Enacting these reforms will help keep crime victims safe and offer them some peace of mind as they rebuild their lives.

Address confidentiality programs provide survivors with a legal substitute address, typically through a post office box, to use when public agencies require an address. Any mail received is then forwarded from the substitute address to the survivor’s actual one, keeping their information safe and protected from their abuser. If enacted, this legislation would allow Michigan to join 37 other states in offering address confidentiality programs.  

Related WLNS coverage on how to help survivors of domestic abuse:

Domestic Abuse Survivor Cristina Morales ‘Angel House gave me a place where I knew that I could be somebody.’

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