Michigan Launches the Address Confidentiality Program to combat sexual violence

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 8:59 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Millions of Americans experience crimes of sexual violence each year. Michigan is launching the Address Confidentiality Program to provide protection to victims and those at risk of being harmed.

“I had tears of joy and excitement,” said Jessica Wade, a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence.

“I had to completely relocate out of town, my normal city that I lived in when my attack happened.”

Wade’s biggest concern was her abuser finding out where she lives through her voters registration. Tanesha Ash-Shakoor of the voices of color says the program looks to stop that.

“It will allow them to have a legal address pre the state that the local and state governments have to abide by,” said Ash-Shakoor, who is also a survivor of sexual violence. She knows how important the new program could be.

“Thousands of survivors in this state and people don’t even understand the magnitude of how many clients we see in a day, in a month.”

Ash-Shakoor says the program will give her clients relief. Knowing they can escape harm without being found by their abusers.

“This is a stepping to stone for them to be able to make a decision and most of they are concerned “if I leave than what?”

Victims and survivors of sexual violence now have the opportunity to remain anonymous while voting, accessing government assistance, and much more with peace of mind knowing their information will remain safe.

“it just gives us the outlook to be able to breath to start processing and health a lot easier,” said Wade.

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