Address Confidentiality Programs provide a confidential substitute mailing address for victims of domestic violence, rape, human trafficking, sexual assault, and stalking who have relocated to a residence unknown to their abuser or stalker; Currently, thirty-six states have established these programs to help victims keep their true address undisclosed to their perpetrators
The Safeguarding Addresses from Emerging (SAFE) at Home Act would ensure that federal agencies and federal courts recognize state created Address Confidentiality Programs; Last week, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon joined Klobuchar and Blunt in Washington to announce the legislation
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) have introduced bipartisan legislation to protect the address confidentiality of victims of domestic violence. Address Confidentiality Programs provide a confidential substitute mailing address for victims of domestic violence, rape, human trafficking, sexual assault, and stalking who have relocated to a residence unknown to their abuser or stalker. Currently, thirty-six states have established these programs to help victims keep their true address undisclosed to their perpetrators. The Safeguarding Addresses from Emerging (SAFE) at Home Act would ensure that federal agencies and federal courts recognize state created Address Confidentiality Programs. Last week, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon joined Klobuchar and Blunt in Washington to announce the legislation.
“As a former prosecutor, I’ve been focused on helping victims of domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking break free from abuse,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan legislation would provide survivors with the peace of mind of knowing that their addresses are confidential as they work to rebuild their lives.”
“For over a decade, Minnesota’s Safe at Home program has been one of the strongest in the nation and has played a leading role in assisting others states develop address confidentiality programs,” said Secretary Simon. “Safe at Home offers critical life-saving services to so many women, men, children and families. The support and work being done by Sen. Klobuchar to ensure these protections are guaranteed at the federal level is not only necessary, but it will save lives.”
Specifically, the SAFE at Home Act would:
- Ensure that federal agencies and federal courts accept the designated address as an Address Confidentiality Program participant’s actual physical address when creating a new public record.
- Allow Address Confidentiality Program participants to provide their designated address to any federal agency without being charged with the crime of giving a false statement or information in regards to the address they provide.
- Clarify that no federal agency or court may obtain an Address Confidentiality Program participant’s actual physical address without first complying with the requirements set forth by the state in which the participant is enrolled.
- Set requirements that if a federal agency or court obtains a participant’s actual physical address, the participant’s actual physical address shall not be public record and shall be kept confidential and exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) are cosponsors of the legislation.
The SAFE at Home Act has been endorsed by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National District Attorneys Association, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Klobuchar is a national leader in the fight to combat human trafficking and prevent domestic violence. Earlier this month, the bipartisan Abolish Human Trafficking Act she introduced with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) passed the Senate. The legislation strengthens and reauthorizes key programs that support survivors of human trafficking and provide resources to federal, state, and local law enforcement officials on the front lines of the fight against modern-day slavery. The bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection Act Klobuchar and Cornyn introduced with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) also recently passed the Senate. The legislation would establish and reauthorize critical programs to prevent human trafficking, promote justice for survivors, provide services to victims, and increase federal coordination to enhance the federal government’s response to the crisis of exploitation. In addition, Klobuchar and Cornyn authored the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, a 2015 law that increased the resources and tools available for combating human trafficking in the United States. The law ensures that American law enforcement is equipped to fight this crime, while helping victims rebuild their lives by using fines and penalties against their exploiters to fund restorative services and compensation.
Klobuchar was also a cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which contained many important changes to the previous law, such as consolidating duplicative programs and streamlining others; providing greater flexibility for how communities use resources; and including new training requirements for people providing legal assistance to victims.