The California Safe at Home Program continues to expand and service more victims each year, according to the quarterly newsletter distributed by the Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office, who is responsible for administering the confidential address program.
“Since 1999, Safe at Home has helped shield the home addresses of more than 5,000 survivors of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault, as well as reproductive health care doctors, nurses, volunteers and patients. Now 35 states have confidential address programs, many of which were modeled after California’s program,” stated the newsletter.
The state’s program and Safe at Home participants also received a policy boost from the U.S. Department of Treasury that issued a November 2009 ruling “allowing national banks and credit unions to accept the contact address of a state’s confidential address program rather than a residence address” as previous mandated before the federal clarification.  This new ruling gives victims further confidentiality and protection.
Even as California continues to suffer from record deficits and slow economic recovery, this essential victim’s service continues to train and conduct outreach through low-cost communication alternatives such as Internet webinars and telephone training. “Safe at Home staff have completed phone training for 15 new enrolling agencies and provided refresher trainings to another 17 agencies.”
The newsletter also includes an update on Senate Bill 1233 by Senator Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach), that would remove the Jan. 1, 2013 program sunset and make the Safe at Home program a permanent addition to the state’s victims’ service apparatus.  The Secretary of State urges you to “phone, email or write your Assemblymember and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and emphasize why you support a permanent confidential address program in our state.”
To find your Assemblymember, access the Assembly’s “Find My District” tool.
You can also contact the Governor’s office at his Contact page.
Let us know how the Safe at Home program has served victims and survivors in your community.