For victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault or human trafficking, constantly fearing for your safety often is debilitating. Facing terrorization at work, at home and in daily life is traumatic. And if you don’t even feel safe at home, where can you?
To give support to victims’ ability to maintain a private address, Tennessee has launched the Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program. Tennessee is the 38th state to provide an address confidentiality program.
What is the program about?
The Safe At Home Address Confidentiality Program is free for those who qualify and will keep a participant’s home address confidential in nearly all state records. Instead, state records will use a substitute address, making it more difficult for an abuser to find a victim’s address. Victims of the following crimes can apply:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual battery
- Sexual assault
- Human trafficking
Participants for the program even can have their substitute address listed on documents related to their children, including school records.
All first-class mail and registered mail can be addressed to the substitute address. The mail will reach Safe At Home Address Confidentiality Program, and then the program forwards the mail to participants’ true address in a secure manner.
What is the purpose of the program?
Tennessee launched the program because many state and local government records legally are open to the public. That means anyone can request certain state or local records and obtain someone’s address and phone number. The goal of the Safe At Home Address Confidentiality Program is to prevent abusers from obtaining a victim’s address in this manner.
Who should think about enrolling?
For victims of the crimes noted above, The Safe At Home Address Confidentiality Program can be beneficial to the following:
- Those who currently live in a crisis shelter or domestic abuse shelter
- Those who are temporarily living with friends or family
- Those who have moved to a new residence within the last 30 days
- Those who want to escape an abuser or stalker
- Those who have children
- Those who rely upon public assistance programs
Many states have established address confidentiality programs to protect victim’s rights, so they can have a sense of security in their own homes and no longer feel the threat of intimidation or abuse at any time.