Address confidentiality program for assault survivors passes Senate

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 approved by the state Senate on Tuesday.

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

“The address confidentiality program is a commonsense plan to protect and bring back peace of mind to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township, who sponsored Senate Bill 76, which would exempt participants from jury duty. “I am hopeful that this is the year that we can finally get this legislation signed into law.”

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 able to vote absentee instead of going to a polling location, which might reveal their address.

Michigan would become the 38th state with such laws if the plan is enacted.

SBs 70-76 now advance to the House of Representatives for consideration.