- About Confidential Address Programs
- How Safe at Home Helps Survivors
- Residence Address is Required to Provide Services
- Verifying Participation
- What You Can Do To Help
Q. Why do confidential address programs exist?
A. Thousands of American women, children and men are victimized each year by perpetrators of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Often times survivors who have escaped a violent environment or situation become re-victimized when their abusers or attackers make repeated attempts to contact or locate them. In some cases, perpetrators will go as far as calculating their victim’s murder. Most survivors of violence, who may or may not have had personal relationships with their stalkers or assailants, live in constant fear for their own personal safety and for the safety of their children and family members. Many survivors are forced to go into hiding because they fear being tracked down through voter, school, telephone, utility or drivers license records. With the availability of personal information on the Internet and through public records searches, confidential address programs, that provide an alternate address survivors can use in lieu of their confidential address on public government records and forms, help survivors keep their whereabouts confidential so that they may begin to live lives free from fear.
Q. How does Safe at Home help survivors?
A. On July 1, 1999, the Secretary of State’s office implemented the California Confidential Address Program “Safe at Home”. The program, which provides a free post mailing address and mail forwarding services to victims, is designed to help relocating victims and survivors of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault keep their address and new name information confidential. Participants of the Safe at Home program qualify for various services administered by the Secretary of State’s office, the California Superior Court System and the California Department of Motor Vehicles. These services include: the use of a designated mailing address to protect their confidential address information; the opportunity to petition for a confidential legal name change through the Superior court system; confidential voter registration administered by the Secretary of State’s office and the county Registrars of Voters; Department of Motor Vehicle records suppression, which includes confidential drivers license and vehicle registration; the use of a substitute address with banks and financial institutions, and confidential SMOG certification. To be enrolled in the program, victims and survivors must complete the enrollment process at one of Safe at Home’s certified enrolling agencies and have their application approved by the Secretary of State’s office.
Q: What if the confidential address is required to provide service to the residence?
A: If the confidential address is required to provide service to the residence, you may provide another means to safeguard the participant’s confidential address by password-protecting the account and by not publishing, selling or providing the address or telephone information.
Q: What if the participant doesn’t have an Authorization ID card; how can I verify their participation in the program?
A: You may call Safe at Home toll-free at (877) 322-5227 to verify a participant's enrollment and ask general questions about the program.
Q: This program seems like a really good solution for victims and survivors, what can I do to help?
A: Whatever assistance you can provide in the way of informing victims and survivors and their families about the program or developing internal procedures to guarantee address confidentiality for Safe at Home participants will offer victims and survivors new hope in the fight against domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Go to our program forms and outreach materials page to download the Safe at Home program brochure or call Safe at Home toll-free at (877) 322-5227 to request brochures and/or posters.