LANSING, Mich., Oct. 28, 2021 — During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, members of the House Progressive Women’s Caucus (PWC) unveiled a package of bills today to prevent domestic violence, support survivors and help protect survivors from further abuse.
“Domestic violence is an issue near to my heart and impacts far too many families in our community,” said state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit). “Many of us know someone who may be suffering. As legislators, we must do everything we can to raise awareness about the impacts of domestic violence. I stand with my colleagues on this package and am committed to ensuring it becomes law.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, domestic violence rates have soared, leaving shelters overburdened and resources stretched thin. Survivors, through no fault of their own, face discrimination, fear and other challenges long after their abuse has ended.
The bill package aims to:
- Update the Paid Medical Leave Act of 2019 to include stalking, in addition to domestic violence and sexual assault, as a protected classification for the use of paid sick leave.
- Ensure an individual is not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for conduct stemming from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
- Prevent landlords and realtors from discriminating against individuals based on domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
- Provide eviction protection for survivors of domestic violence.
- Extend privacy rights to adult victims, not just minors.
- Provide an explicit provision in Michigan statute that makes it clear to law enforcement and prosecutors that they are permitted and encouraged to engage and initiate victim-focused outreach with victim service agencies.
- Alert identifiable survivors if their abuser’s tether is tampered with and/or the abuser comes within a certain distance of the survivor’s home or workplace.