JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri State Representative Sonya Anderson introduced House Bill 1461 to expand and strengthen the protections of the Safe at Home Program. Anderson is working with Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to pass the much-needed change into law.
The legislation provides an added layer of protection when relocating a child who is part of the Safe at Home program. HB1461 would help ensure that a parent relocating a child could satisfy reporting requirements, while maintaining address confidentiality. This enhances the program by keeping the new address out of the hands of the perpetrator.
“Missouri can and must do more to protect Safe at Home participants,” Anderson, R-Springfield, said. “Victims of abuse, including their children, deserve to feel safe in their own homes. This legislation is another step in the right direction and I look forward to bringing about these necessary changes to make sure these survivors’ and their families are fully protected.”
Safe at Home started in Missouri in 2007 as a way to help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, human trafficking or stalking in their efforts to stay safe. The Secretary of State’s office provides a designated substitute address for survivors to use when creating new public records, as well as the option to securely forward mail to their confidential addresses. These services keep survivors’ confidential addresses out of the hands of their assailants. The program has served more than 4,000 Missourians in the past decade.“Participants in the program have often had their lives uprooted by fear, and Safe at Home is here to protect them from the threats they face every day,” Ashcroft said. “I fully support Rep. Anderson’s proposed legislation and am thrilled to work alongside her in this important effort.”