McGrath: Address Confidentiality Program Aids Victims
HELENA – As the state observes Crime Victim Awareness Week, Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath said Tuesday that the new Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) can help victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking. April 23-28 marks Crime Victim Awareness Week.
“Once victims move away from their abusers, the Address Confidentiality Program can be part of their overall safety plan,” McGrath said.
When a victim of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault has moved away from his or her abuser, the Office of Victim Services can provide a confidential, substitute mailing address. Mail goes to the substitute address and is then forwarded on to the victim, at his or her new address. Magazines and packages are not forwarded.
“Participants also receive a card confirming their new substitute address,” McGrath said, “and the address is valid for use with public utilities, motor vehicle registration, child support, work- or school-related correspondence.”
To qualify for the program, an applicant must be a Montana resident and must be a victim of partner-family member assault, sexual assault or stalking as defined by state law.
The service is free, but program participants must fill out an application and submit a signed program checklist, a copy of valid identification, evidence that the applicant is a victim and a telephone number where he or she may be reached.
The ACP application and checklist are available on the Department of Justice website, or from local crime victim advocates or the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
About 20 states around the country have similar programs.