Pate urges feds to recognize ‘confidential addresses’ of crime victims

DES MOINES — Iowa’s secretary of state says crime victims with “confidential addresses” from safety programs in Iowa and 35 other states should be allowed to use those addresses at the federal level, too.

More than 300 crime victims have used Iowa’s new “Safe at Home” program in the past year to get a confidential address to use for paying bills and getting driver’s licenses, so an abuser or stalker can’t find their victim’s real street address on those documents. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is urging federal officials to let crime victims use those confidential addresses on passports and federal income tax returns, too.

“To assure these folks who were victims of these brutal incidents, these survivors do not have to disclose their real street address,” Pate says. “…We don’t want their abusers to find them and harm them any further.”

Pate says there are inconsistent federal policies and it’s time for every federal court and federal agency to recognize these confidential addresses.

“Whether it be by federal rule or law, I encourage those agencies that have interactions with these victims who are now survivors to recognize how each of our states have set the program up,” Pate says.

Pate returned this past Monday from the summer meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State. The bipartisan group unanimously passed a resolution urging the federal government to consistently recognize confidential addresses given to survivors of stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking.

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