Blunt, Capito lead measure to enhance privacy protections for domestic violence victims

Working together to protect victims of domestic violence, U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced legislation last week that would offer privacy protections to victims through the use of confidential substitute mailing addresses at the federal level.

Thirty-six states have implemented state address confidentiality programs (ACPs) that enable victims of domestic violence to conceal their location by using a confidential substitute mailing address. However, current law is unclear about whether federal agencies and courts should recognize substitute mailing addresses.

The Safeguarding Addresses from Emerging (SAFE) at Home Act would clarify that confidential substitute mailing addresses could be used to establish new public records to better protect victims of domestic violence from abusers.

“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.”

Blunt and Capito introduced the SAFE at Home Act with bipartisan support from U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), among others.

“Too many individuals — particularly women and girls — are victims of mental or physical abuse and often feel like there is no way out,” Capito said. “The SAFE at Home Act will help provide all victims of domestic abuse and violence with the peace of mind they need to break the cycle of abuse and keep themselves and their families safe.

It’s a small step in the fight against domestic violence, but it has the potential to make a world of difference for victims searching for a way to escape an abusive situation.”