U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) introduced the Safeguarding Addresses from Emerging (SAFE) at Home Act, a bipartisan measure that would strengthen privacy protections for victims of domestic violence, on Sept. 28. The bill would allow victims of domestic violence who are participating in state Address Confidentiality Programs (ACP) to use their confidential substitute address when creating new public records at the federal level, preventing the disclosure of their actual physical address.
“Victims of abuse and domestic violence deserve to feel safe and protected in their own homes,” Blunt said. “Missouri, along with 35 other states, has taken an important step by implementing Address Confidentiality Programs to prevent abusers from locating their victims. This bill will ensure victims have the same privacy protections whether they’re applying for a passport or a local library card. I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill, which will help reduce violence and keep families safe.”
Currently, 36 states have established ACPs, which provide a confidential substitute mailing address for victims of domestic violence who have relocated to a residence unknown to their perpetrator. However, ambiguity exists as to whether federal agencies and courts are required to recognize state-created substitute addresses. The bill would require federal agencies and courts to accept an ACP participants’ confidential substitute address as the actual physical address when creating a new public record. The bill will also allow ACP participants to provide their confidential substitute 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.
The SAFE at Home Act is cosponsored by Claire McCaskill (Mo.). U.S. Representative Jason Smith (Mo.) introduced companion legislation in the House.