Domestic violence victim gets to vote and keep address hidden

A domestic violence victim who feared she wouldn't be able to safely vote got her chance on Friday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A domestic violence victim who feared she wouldn’t be able to safely vote got to do that Friday after NBC Charlotte helped get her story out there.

She didn’t want her address public but had to get special permission to make that happen. Whitley Eaton thought it was a lost cause.

“I didn’t think I was going to be able to vote-- every vote counts-- just thrilled I can do that, given my situation," Eaton said. 

Eaton is the name she uses after escaping what she calls an abusive relationship with a man who works as a police officer in another state. She moved to Charlotte and is a part of the address confidentiality program that allows someone like her to use a substitute address to get a driver's license and vote.

She worried as a cop, her ex could still track her down if she registered to vote.

"They have access to things like the DMV records and voter registration records.”

So she came to NBC Charlotte, and after our original story aired, the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections supervisor reached out and arranged to have Whitley vote in a way that will keep her address private.

“As a victim of domestic violence, I feel like I’ve been punished again and having to be in hiding-- and this is me regaining that power and taking back my life.”

She says she’s fought a long time for this and sees it as a win, not only for herself, but for so many others, too.

“I’m here for all victims, survivors, voices who have been silenced; I’m here representing them.”

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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