GA bill allows confidential name changes for abuse victims

Victims of domestic violence could change their names privately under a bill coming before the Georgia House for a vote.

The legislation sponsored by Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton, is on the House calendar for Monday and has support from the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Allison Smith-Burk is the group's director of public policy and says the change would give advocacy organizations another tool to help victims stay safe.

Name changes now are required to be listed in public court documents. Smith-Burk says that's frightening for victims who worry that an abusive spouse or partner will continue to stalk them.

The bill would allow a judge to keep records of name changes sealed in domestic violence cases.

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