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SAFE AT HOME TENNESSEE

The Safe at Home address confidentiality program has helped survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, human trafficking, stalking, or other crimes who fear future harm in their efforts to stay safe by providing a designated address to use when creating new public records. These services help keep survivors’ confidential addresses out of the hands of their assailants.

Contact us to Apply for Safe at Home:

901-222-4400

What is Safe at Home?

The Tennessee Public Records Act allows public inspection and copying of government records along with identifying information. Full names, legal addresses, and phone numbers are readily available through simple public records searches. Because these records are accessible to all, government information sources, such as public schools, can be used by perpetrators to locate their victims and continue abusing and intimidating them.

This is the harsh reality the Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program protects against. The program serves as an information barrier to help victims leave the cycle of violence behind. It is a voluntary program that also extends to children in the home, helping prevent repeated victimization by providing a substitute address while keeping the actual residential address confidential.

In February 2019, Secretary of State Tre Hargett announced the new program, “Safe at Home provides victims and their families with a tool to help heal from their abuse, begin new lives, and finally feel a sense of security in their communities.”

Safe at Home participation ensures three levels of protection:

  1. The program receives all of the participant’s first class and certified mail and securely forwards it to the participant’s designated mailing address (this could be a P.O. Box or street address). The designated address is confidential and need never be disclosed to the sender.
  2. The program serves as agent of process for the participant, receiving legal papers that must otherwise be delivered or served directly on the participant.
  3. The program acts on behalf of the participant to verify residency and eligibility for public benefits or public-school enrollment for any state or local government agency that requires such verification.

For instance, a participant uses the substitute address when registering to vote, setting up utilities, and applying for TennCare Medicaid, CoverKids, Families First, and SNAP. The substitute address is printed on the participant’s driver’s license and motor vehicle records. Asking an employer or bank to use the substitute address is possible, too, as all first-class mail gets forwarded through the program. Additionally, participants are exempt from jury selection in state court or municipal court (although response to the jury summons is required).

Who may apply for program participation?

  • Any adult may apply on their own behalf
  • A parent may apply on behalf of their minor child
  • A fiduciary, such as a guardian or conservator, may apply on behalf of a minor or a person with a disability

What are the eligibility requirements?

  1. The applicant must be a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, human trafficking, or any sexual offense, such as rape or sexual battery. Applicants must be able to provide ONE of the following:
  • Documentation that an ongoing criminal case exists that may result in (or has already resulted in) a conviction by a judge, jury or guilty plea in which the applicant was a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, human trafficking, or any other sexual offense; or
  • Documentation that a court has granted an order of protection which is in effect at the time of the application; or,
  • The applicant must submit a notarized statement by a licensed professional, such as an attorney, social worker, or therapist, confirming that the applicant is a victim of abuse and that the applicant is in danger of further harm.
  1. The applicant must have relocated to a new residence within the previous thirty (30) days or presently intend to relocate to a new residence within the next ninety (90) days.

How to apply?

Contact us to Apply for Safe at Home:

901-222-4400

Being a participant means greater safety and security in one’s own home. If you are relocating to escape a violent situation, then make a secure call, apply for the program, and protect yourself and your children.

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