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.
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:
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?
What are the eligibility requirements?
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.