Bill Strengthening Vital Program for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Goes to Governor

August 21, 2012

SACRAMENTO – Legislation by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) to strengthen the state’s Safe at Home program, which provides victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault a confidential address for their protection, passed the Senate today and was sent to the governor.

The Safe at Home program, administered by the Secretary of State, has served more than 4,500 Californians since 1999. It provides participants a free post office box to help them maintain their privacy when opening a bank account, getting a driver’s license, enrolling a child in school or conducting other important business.  

“The sad truth is that sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking afflict thousands of Californians of all ages and backgrounds each year,” Corbett said.  “Senate Bill 1082 ensures that the Safe at Home program continues to provide a safe haven for victims and help them rebuild their lives.”

The legislation extends the program to allow child participants who turn 18 to remain in the program. This follows a measure authored last year by Corbett that keeps personal identifying information for Safe at Home participants off the Internet. That bill, SB 636, took effect on Jan. 1.

Survivors of these terrible crimes often continue to live in fear. Even after moving away from an abusive partner or stalker, survivors can put themselves or their family members at risk with simple, everyday tasks, such as opening a bank account or enrolling a child in school.

SB 1082 is sponsored by Secretary of State Debra Bowen and supported by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers (AFSCME); California Communities United Institutes; California Partnership to End Domestic Violence; American Association of University of Women; and the California State Sheriff’s Association.

The governor has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bill.

Contact: Andrew LaMar, (916) 651-4010