COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — A bill awaiting a third-reading vote in the South Carolina Senate would establish a statewide address confidentiality program for victims of certain crimes.
It received a 41-0 second reading vote in the Senate earlier this month.
The legislation would create an address confidentiality program within the South Carolina Attorney General’s office. It would provide confidential mail forwarding services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and harassment, and trafficking who qualify for participation.
Work and school addresses of victims would also be kept confidential.
The bill’s sponsor Senator Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington) said this is something South Carolina should do for survivors.
“I want victims of human trafficking to really feel safe. We don’t want perpetrators to be able to look up and find you,” she said.
The bill would also create a state-level confidentiality requirement to protect communications between victims and nonprofit domestic and sexual violence organizations as well.
“We want them to feel the state is taking care of them,” Shealy said.
The Lexington County Republican said she is hopeful the bill will be sent to the House ahead of the legislative cross-over deadline next month.
A fiscal impact statement estimates the program would cost about $270,000 a year.