Ohio State Rep.
Many are often shocked to hear, as was I, that the addresses and personal information of domestic violence and stalking victims in Ohio is public record. This means that anyone, including the victim’s perpetrator, can easily use public documents, such as Ohio’s voting rolls, to locate an individual. That is, until now.
At the beginning of this month, House Bill 359 went into effect across Ohio, which allows domestic violence and stalking victims to shield their address and other personal information from public records. Not only will this help these victims to feel safe at home, but it will also give them the ability and peace-of-mind to register to vote, obtain an Ohio driver’s license or even get a library card.
Read more on TimesReporter.com, and kudos to Ohio for enacting this law. Ohio is not the only state to have an address confidentiality law, but I don’t know that those who are eligible to avail themselves of the protection always know that they can. And of course, if a database from 2014 had what is their still-current information and that database was hacked/sold on the underground, they may still be at risk. But these laws are generally a Good Thing, I think, and I hope that more domestic abuse victims avail themselves of the added measure of protection.