August 1, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Allowing Victims of Sexual Offenses, Stalking and Human Trafficking to Participate in Address Confidentiality Program

TOP Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Allowing...

Department of State's Address Confidentiality Program Allows Victims to Keep their Address Hidden from Perpetrators

Governor Cuomo: "Victims of heinous crimes like sexual assault and human trafficking should not have to live in constant fear that their assailant could find and potentially hurt them again. By signing this legislation into law we will help protect survivors from further abuse by shielding their address from public view and hopefully provide a measure of comfort as they move forward with their lives."

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.5444/A.7515) allowing victims of sexual offenses, stalking and human trafficking to participate in the Department of State's Address Confidentiality Program. The program allows victims to keep their address hidden from their perpetrators by using a substitute address provided by the Department of State in lieu of their actual home, school or work address. The bill will take effect 90 days after becoming law.

"Victims of heinous crimes like sexual assault and human trafficking should not have to live in constant fear that their assailant could find and potentially hurt them again," Governor Cuomo said. "By signing this legislation into law we will help protect survivors from further abuse by shielding their address from public view and hopefully provide a measure of comfort as they move forward with their lives."

"New York has been a leader in protecting the most vulnerable in society and that effort continues today," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This new law will ensure victims of sexual offenses can take action to protect their identity, giving them the peace of mind and security that is essential to recovery and healing." 

Under the previous law, only victims of domestic violence were eligible to participate in the Address Confidentiality Program. However, many victims of sexual offenses, stalking or human trafficking also have a need for the benefits of an address confidentiality program because they often attempt to evade actual or threatened violence by moving to a new address in order to hide from an assailant or potential assailant. By offering victims of sexual offenses, stalking and human trafficking the benefits of the Address Confidentiality Program, this legislation will help protect them from violence by helping them keep their actual addresses confidential.

Senator Julia Salazar said, "Too many survivors of sexual offenses, stalking, and human trafficking live in fear that their perpetrators will subject them to violence once again. By signing this legislation, we are providing much needed protections to these survivors and providing them the peace of mind they need and deserve. This will prevent not just future physical violence, but additional emotional and psychological harm as well. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this issue and thank him for signing this legislation into law."

Assembly Member Catalina Cruz said, "This legislation has been vitally important to survivors of domestic violence, most of whom live in constant fear of their attacker. The expansion of the address confidentiality program to include survivors of offenses such as stalking and human trafficking will help protect our society's most vulnerable members. I thank the Governor for signing this legislation, and for his ongoing commitment to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking."

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