New York State’s Department of State announced today a new online app for the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP), which helps victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual offenses, and human trafficking protect themselves by getting new undisclosed addresses.

“In New York, we help protect our most vulnerable from violent situations that can endanger them and their families,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, who oversees this program. “The online application for the Address Confidentiality Program will make it faster and easier for thousands of New Yorkers in threatening situations to get protection from their perpetrators and help save lives.”

Before the app modernized the application process, victims of violence could only apply for the program via mail or fax. ACP, a free state program, allows victims to keep their physical address hidden by using a substitute mailing addresses provided by the Department of State in lieu of their actual addresses. The program currently serves approximately 3,200 people.

“New York State’s Address Confidentiality Program is an important tool for crime victims who are seeking a sense of safety and peace,” New York State Office for Victim Services Director Elizabeth Cronin said. “I want to thank the Department of State for streamlining the application process and making this tool more accessible to victims, and the advocates helping them, as they work to secure safe housing.”

Cronin noted that the deployment of the app came at an opportune time. “It is especially critical that we eliminate the requirement that these forms be printed and mailed or faxed, so applications for this program can be processed electronically during the global COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Executive Director Kelli Owens also touched on the importance of modernizing the application process during the pandemic, saying, “The addition of online enrollment streamlines the process and assists survivors working to stay safe and rebuild their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges for survivors seeking services, and this welcomed change removes a hurdle to access and helps domestic violence services in New York State become even more survivor-centered.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs