Update 2/14: The full Oklahoma Senate voted unanimously to approve SB1569, a bill that will add protections for victims of human trafficking and child abduction.
Oklahoma’s Address Confidentiality Program (ACP), a program administered by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, provides a substitute address to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to be used when interacting with state and local government agencies. It gives victims the opportunity to enroll children in public schools, obtain drivers licenses, social services, child support, court documents and more, while ensuring the perpetrator doesn’t use government records to locate their victim.
“Human traffickers can be relentless. They will stalk, harass and threaten their victims to keep them under their control or prevent them from cooperating with law enforcement,” said Sen. Weaver, R-Moore. “Human trafficking victims and victims of child abduction should not live in fear that their whereabouts will be easily discovered through government records. They need the additional layer of protection this bill would provide, and I’m grateful for the support of my fellow members.”
SB 1569 will now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW:
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill has been passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee that will add sex trafficking victims to the Address Confidentiality Program.
Senator Darrell Weaver, R-District 24 proposed SB1569 and stated in Tuesday’s committee meeting that it was a request bill from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
SB1569 is similar to the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, in which victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking are specifically included.
“What we want to simply do is add sex trafficking victims to this list so they’ll have some type and some level of protection from folks, whether it be handlers or whatever, trying to reach them and try to put them in an adverse position,” said Sen. Weaver.
SB1569, or the Address Confidentiality for Child Survivors and Their Families Act, was passed with a 10-0 vote. It will advance to the Senate floor.
SB1569 was co authored by Representative Boatman (principal House author).