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August 19, 2011 > Bill adding privacy protection goes to Governor

Bill adding privacy protection goes to Governor

Submitted By Teala Schaff

Legislation by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) giving domestic abuse and sexual assault victims greater privacy protections passed the Senate on August 15, 2011, with a unanimous vote.

"Victims of domestic and sexual violence suffer daily with the traumatizing reality of their abuse," Corbett said. "This bill seeks to further protect these victims by safeguarding their personal identifying information on the Internet so that it is not available to stalkers seeking to do more harm."

SB 636, Privacy Protection for Safe at Home Participants, goes next to the governor, who has 12 days to sign or veto the bill after he receives it.

Domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault affect millions of Americans each year, regardless of ethnicity, race, age, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. Survivors of these terrible crimes often continue to live in fear. Even after moving away from an abusive partner or predator, survivors can put themselves or their family members at risk with simple, everyday tasks, such as opening a bank account, getting a driver's license or enrolling a child in school.

SB 636 provides further protection to victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault who enter into the state's Safe at Home Program. The legislation prohibits participants' personal information from being posted on the Internet and establishes crimes for sites that fail to comply. Safe at Home is a confidentiality program administered by the California Secretary of State's Office that offers victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault anonymity and a new start and, since 1999, has helped protect the personal information of more than 4,500 survivors of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault.

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