Abuse victim worried for safety with recall petition release - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Abuse victim worried for safety with recall petition release

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MADISON (WKOW) -- State officials announced late Tuesday they posted petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker for public viewing on the Government Accountability Board website.

Within the more than 153,000 pages of signatures are the names and addresses of some people who want their information kept private.

WKOW 27 News spoke with an abuse victim we will refer to as Jane.

She says she called the GAB several times since realizing her address would be posted online after signing a petition to recall the governor.

Jane used to pay to make sure her phone number was not listed in the phone book. She says the one time she relaxed and thought enough time had passed, her attacker called her forcing her to change her number.

She is worried that is going to happen all over again with the release of the petitions online.

"When it comes to people's safety, [the GAB] needs to focus on that. People's safety is the number one priority. I'm being re-victimized but this time it is the state," Jane said. "Victims of domestic violence do not have a voice. It is apparent with this GAB decision."

Jane says she understands petitions are public information, but does not see the need for it to be so readily accessible on the Internet.

She is considering taking legal action.

The GAB was originally supposed to post the petitions online Monday.

The organization got requests to take out personal information from abuse victims like Jane, as well as people concerned about threats for their political decisions and others worried about identity theft.

But the GAB says signing a recall petition is a public process unlike voting.

It adds the PDF copies are not computer searchable, making it difficult for anyone to go through all 153,335 pages looking for a specific person.

Jane is worried that others will be able to create their own searchable database and says there just are not enough laws to protect domestic violence victims like her.

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