Ohio Lawmakers Discuss Bill To Protect Domestic Violence Survivors

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State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) and State Representative Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) discussed a bill on Thursday that would allow domestic violence survivors to vote, while keeping their address secret from their abusers.

The Address Confidentiality Program bill allows domestic abuse victims to use an ACP address as a placeholder for all mail correspondence with government agencies and the United States Postal Service.

As of right now, 37 other states have implemented a similar program.

Clyde said the implementation of this bill is important for the state, as it would empower an entire group of voters.

 “The logic behind our bill is simple,” she said. “People who are brave enough to leave a violent situation and come forward to seek assistance deserve the full support of their state as they rebuild their lives. Part of that means helping them shield their location information once they’ve left their violent situation.”

The bill unanimously passed in the House four years ago, but never made it to the Senate.

Turner and Clyde say they are confident they will gain the extra support they need due to the recent national spotlight on domestic abuse.

"Domestic violence is too big a problem to ignore, it touches too many lives," Clyde said. "The recent national conversation about domestic violence tells us something important about the nature of this problem. Domestic violence doesn't discriminate. It devastates everyone from those in the national spotlight, down to the people we know in our own neighborhoods in our communities: our sisters, mothers, aunts, colleagues, and friends."

When asked what is the cost of this bill, Turner said the financial cost would be minimal. However, she added it is important to think of the greater cost to the victim.

“Any victim of violence [is] worth this investment. The state should make this investment. They are worth it.”

Turner and Clyde plan to officially introduce the bill soon.