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Bill Aims To Ensure Domestic Abusers Don’t Control Victims’ Phones

Senator Erin Houchin (R-Salem) talks about her bill to help domestic violence victims get their cell phone and number out of their abuser's control.

Photo: Brandon Smith (IPB News)

Senator Erin Houchin (R-Salem) talks about her bill to help domestic violence victims get their cell phone and number out of their abuser's control.

Lawmakers want to make it easier for domestic violence victims to keep their cell phones away from their abusers. A proposed bill would provide that option after a victim gets a restraining order.

Under current law, only the owner of a cell phone account may see the full account and make changes. Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Laura Berry says that creates real problems for domestic violence victims.

“Abusers have been able to use the apps on the family plans to be able to track them, unbeknownst to the victim,” Berry says.

Senator Erin Houchin (R-Salem) says her legislation would allow cell phone providers to give victims control of their own phone and number without permission of the primary account holder.

“It will allow a victim to keep their vital contact information and stay connected to their network, their family and friends – and most importantly, have the ability to find shelter, support and guidance,” Houchin says.

Houchin adds she expects easy passage in the House after the bill received unanimous support in the Senate.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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