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Capitol Briefs: Missouri’s Safe at Home program reaches milestone of people served

  

Missouri’s Safe at Home program, which allows victims of domestic and sexual violence to receive mail at a designated location, has reached a milestone, the Secretary of State’s Office announced Monday. 

The program has now served more than 7,000 people since it was implemented in August 2007. The current enrollment sits at more than 2,800 people. 

“Participants in the Safe at Home program have often had their lives uprooted by fear,” Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said in a statement. “The program has helped to protect them from the threats they face every day. Our office remains dedicated to protecting survivors of abuse and advocating on their behalf.” 

  • Missouri’s Safe at Home law helps victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, stalking, and other crimes by providing a designated address that is not their home where they can receive mail. This is done to protect a victims’ whereabouts and provide security if they fear future or continued harm by an abuser. 
  • The program can also include a victims’ minor children. 
  • The law was expanded in 2018 to keep the home addresses of victims in the program private while they are engaged in custody disputes. The bill was championed by then-state Rep. Sonya Anderson, Sen. Caleb Rowden, and the Secretary of State’s Office and was upheld in court
  • To date, the Secretary of State’s Office has trained nearly 700 application assistants throughout government agencies and non-profits who help those applying for the address confidentiality program. 
  • Multiple other states, including Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana have versions of Safe at Home laws although the criteria can vary by state.