Lawmakers push to protect violence victims information

Lawmakers push to protect violence victims information

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Ohio legislators are working to shield the addresses of domestic violence victims, and keeping them confidential on some government records.

The bill comes after a triple murder in Canton when a woman's ex-husband discovered her address through public records.

On June 8, 2009 police say James Mammone found his ex-wife Marcia Eakin's address and then murdered their two young children and her mother.

When a jury sentenced him to the death penalty Mammone offered no apologies.  

"I had reason to kill them and I haven't changed my mind about that," Mammone told the court in 2014 after during his sentencing.

Thirty-eight states currently have confidentiality programs that block a violence victim's address from their attackers, but Ohio is not one of them.

Alexandria Ruden is senior attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland who specializes in domestic violence cases.

"Anytime you have advancing technologies and you have the release of public information by government by courts it is extremely easy for an abuser to get a victim's address and other confidential information," said Ruden.

Ohio leaders are now pushing for a change. Lawmakers have proposed a bill that will allow violence victims to have their addresses protected.

Under the proposed bill, victims could apply for a confidential address and that address would be used on public records. Then the Secretary of State would forward their mail to their real address.

"It would keep their addresses confidential and permit victims to relocate to different places different counties," said Ruden.

If the bill passes Ohio could follow the lead of other states that have seen some success.

"From what I have heard these address confidentiality programs help victims who want to relocate move forward with their lives, creates safety nets for these victims and on balance work very well in helping protect a victims address," Ruden said.

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