On May 17, YWCA Spokane hosted an Address Confidentiality Program Training to teach our advocates about the program and how to become certified to help survivors be safe in their homes.
What is Address Confidentiality Program?
The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) is part of a safety plan that gives survivors of Domestic Violence a P.O. Box to use so their home address remains private. The program receives their mail, and forwards to the survivors home address. By using a P.O. Box, survivors’ addresses remain totally out of the public sphere, from voting records or even driver’s licenses if the survivor so chooses. They will never release home address information.
To be eligible, participants must:
- Be an adult, or parent or guardian acting on behalf of minor, or an incapacitated person; and
- Be a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, stalking, or certain (see definition below) criminal justice employees who have been targets of felony harassment; and
- Reside in Washington; and
- Recently relocated or is planning to relocate in 30 days. The best time to enroll is when a survivor is planning to move to a location unknown to their abuser or has recently moved and has not yet created any public records.
Learn more from the ACP below:
How do survivors enroll?
All survivors need to do is contact YWCA Spokane and schedule an appointment with one of our Advocates. Staff will fill out the form with survivors, mail to the ACP office, and ACP will issue a P.O. Box to survivors and begin forwarding their mail. This will not undo past addresses, nor is it necessary to change one’s identity (like one would need to do in Witness Protection Programs), though survivors may use an alias if they choose. applications are usually processed in a timely manner, and can begin using their new P.O. Box address almost immediately.
ACP is most effective for survivors to join while they are in the midst of moving. If a survivor has their new P.O. Box to give out once they are moved, such as to their child’s school or their place of work, the process becomes much more seamless. State and local government agencies, such as a child’s school or the DMV, must accept the ACP substitute address as an actual address and cannot require participants to disclose their actual addresses.
Advocates can be easily certified to help survivors enter the Program. Once certified, they can enter their clients’ information in the ACP Screening Tool to determine if the Program is right for them. If right for them, advocates and clients will fill out the application, sign the authorization form, and a Release of Information. Once completed, applications can be mailed and P.O. Boxes will be issued.
For any questions about the Address Confidentiality Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Address Confidentiality Program website. Call 326-CALL (2255) for an assessment. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also contact the shelter via email at email@example.com.