FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28 October 2021
Alex Curtas, Director of Communications
New Mexico Office of the Secretary of State
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver Announces Newly Revamped Confidential Address Program to Better Serve Survivors of Domestic Assault and Similar Crimes
Safe at Home was formerly known as the Confidential Address Program
SANTA FE – Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver today announced updates and additional resources available through her Office’s Safe at Home confidential address program.
The Safe at Home program (formerly known as the Confidential Address Program or CAP) is administered by the Secretary of State’s Office and allows survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to receive mail using the Secretary of State’s address as a substitute for their own, while keeping their actual address confidential.
“October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and as the month comes to a close I want to make sure any person who is eligible to utilize my Office’s Safe at Home resources to protect themselves or loved ones knows how to do so,” said Secretary Toulouse Oliver. “Though using a confidential address is only one part in a long-term personal security strategy, it has become an important component used by survivors in many states across the nation and I encourage anyone who might be eligible to review our Safe at Home resources and contact our Office or a domestic violence advocacy organization for more information.”
“We want to offer our appreciation to the Secretary for ensuring the Safe at Home confidential address program,” said Pam Wiseman, Executive Director of the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( NMCADV). “Survivors of domestic violence rely on the kind of protection that it offers. It protects not just survivors’ safety, and that of their families, but it safeguards their rights as citizens as well.”
“The New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc. (NMCSAP) would like to commend Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver for her compassion towards survivors and her desire to provide a confidential manner to vote, rent, receive mail, etc.,” said Kim Alaburda, Executive Director, NMCSAP.
The Safe at Home program helps survivors by denying abusers/stalkers the opportunity to use public records as a means to continue to abuse or stalk the participant. The Secretary of State’s office collects mail for Safe at Home participants from an undisclosed P.O. Box and then forwards the mail on to the participant’s actual, private address. When participants in the program enter into business relationships with state, city, and other agencies, the use of the fictitious address maintains the participant’s confidentiality. It also relieves those government agencies of the difficult and costly responsibilities of maintaining confidential records. In this way, Safe at Home participants are at a reduced risk from being tracked using public records.
The Safe at Home program also enables participants to participate in New Mexico elections without having their address unnecessarily compromised. Participants who wish to vote do so through a mailed absentee ballot. A random identifier and verification code is issued to the participant prior to an election and the identifier serves in place of the required voter identification and the verification code is used instead of the voter’s signature.
To be eligible for the Safe at Home program, participants must be survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, stalking or similar crimes, and they must be residents of New Mexico who have recently relocated to a place unknown to their abuser/stalker or are planning to move in the near future.
The Secretary of State’s Office has a full-time staff member trained to work with survivors and dedicated to administering the Safe at Home program. Applicants who wish to enroll in Safe at Home must apply to the program by filling out the application packet while in the presence of an application assistant. An application assistant is a person who works or volunteers for a domestic violence or sexual assault program in New Mexico.
Updated Safe at Home materials, including the application packet and an informational brochure, are attached to this release. Additional information and materials are available on the Secretary of State’s Safe at Home webpage.