10 Years of Being Safe at Home
Montpelier, VT – 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of Vermont’s Safe at Home Address Confidentiality program. The Safe at Home program was established by the legislature in 2001 and is located in the Office of the Secretary of State. Vermont was one of the earliest implementers of a program of this type and is now one of 32 programs in the nation.
The Safe at Home program offers two service components to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: a substitute address service and a protected records service. These services limit a perpetrator’s ability to access public information that could identify the new location of a victim, keeping them from being vulnerable for further abuse. “The substitute address portion of the program is a mail forwarding service. All program participants use the same post office box number and mail sent to the box is forwarded on to the participant’s actual address at no expense to the participant”, stated Secretary of State Condos.
Secretary Condos further explained, “The protected records service allows program participants to use the substitute address when creating records with state or local government agencies. Participants can obtain a driver’s license, get married and register births without fear that those public records will put them at risk of being located by their perpetrator.
Since July, 2001, 249 people have participated in the program representing 102 households, 115 adults and 134 children. Currently, 102 people are participating in the program.
“The Safe At Home Program offers the most endangered victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking vital safety and support. We deeply appreciate the Secretary of State and the Safe At Home staff for their efforts on behalf of victims,” added Karen Tronsgard‐Scott, Executive Director of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Application to the program must be made through a trained, certified employee of an organization that provides counseling and other services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
You can find more information about the Safe at Home program at http://www.sec.state.vt.us/otherprg/safeathome/safeathome.html
Jim Condos is Vermont’s Secretary of State, after serving eight years as a Vermont State Senator, 18 years in local government and 30+ years of private sector business experience.