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February 24, 2012 > Bill strengthens program for domestic violence and sexual assault victims

Bill strengthens program for domestic violence and sexual assault victims

Submitted By Andrew LaMar

Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) introduced legislation on February 14, 2012, to strengthen the state's Safe at Home program, which provides victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault confidentiality for their protection.

The bill clarifies inconsistencies in the law regarding the program and makes Safe at Home services clearer, more efficient and more effective. The program, administered by the secretary of state, has served more than 4,500 Californians since 1999.

"Safe at Home is an incredibly valuable program that gives many victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault a new lease on life," Corbett said. "Sadly, cases of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking afflict millions of Americans each year. We must do everything we can to support these victims and help them restore normalcy to their lives."

The new legislation, Senate Bill 1082, follows a measure authored last year by Corbett that keeps personal, identification information for Safe at Home participants off the Internet. SB 636 was signed into law and took effect on January 1, 2012.

Survivors of these terrible crimes often continue to live in fear. Even after moving away from an abusive partner or predator, survivors can put themselves or their family members at risk with simple, everyday tasks, such as opening a bank account, getting a driver's license or enrolling a child in school.

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