Michigan may soon join several other states in an effort to protect domestic violence victims both from their abusers, and the consequences that may follow victims to their workplace, housing situations and more.
Some protections that exist for survivors right now in the state of Michigan include personal protection orders, no–contact orders and lease termination rights. But this bill would go one step further to protect victims.
“One of the biggest issues that we see with survivors is loss of employment due to their current situations and that could be because there are several court dates they need to attend, they need to attend follow–up services…or to just get care,” says Jennifer Baker of Hope Shores Alliance.
House bills 5247–51 and senate bills 655–58 would protect victims by enacting address confidentiality, it would prevent victims from losing unemployment benefits if their situation requires them to leave work…and it would also require employers that provide sick leave to let employees use it or receive assistance because of domestic violence.
“So often survivors are penalized for the behavior of their abusers. I think these bills take some steps towards ensuring that that does not happen as often,” Baker adds.
If passed Michigan will join 37 other states in their fight to protect survivors with an address confidentiality program, in addition to several other goals of the Michigan bill.