By Mike Kruzman /

A local lawmaker’s bill to better protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault has been signed into law.

State Senator Lana Theis of Brighton Township’s plan to create an address confidentiality program has been signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Theis’ plan allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking to obtain a confidential address for official documents to help better protect them from attackers. These documents could include driver’s licenses and mail correspondence.

Theis said in a release that the bills provide a “simple way of restoring assault survivors' peace of mind by shielding their real physical address from suspecting eyes and from those who may wish to do them harm.” The legislation also affords children the same confidentiality if they are at risk of being threatened or physically harmed; or if their parents or guardians are the victims of the aforementioned crimes, including rape or sexual battery. Additionally, schools won’t be allowed to disclose the addresses of pupils or their parents or guardians if they are in the program. Program participants’ locations are also to be made confidential in the state’s Qualified Voter File system and they are now exempt from jury duty.

Theis said she was grateful for the strong-bipartisan support that the bills received and that the governor signed them as quickly as she did.