If you are a Pennsylvania resident who is a victim of domestic violence such as sexual assault, stalking or other domestic abuses, the state has many resources available to you in order to protect your future safety and that of your child(ren). Per the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one of the most effective and popular resources is the Address Confidentiality Program.
The ACP gives you the opportunity to obtain a substitute address to use when you move to a new home, get a new job or change your child(ren)’s school in an effort to assure that you and your child(ren) will be safe from your abuser. By using an ACP address, your abuser will not know the actual address of your home, your place of employment or your child(ren)’s school. Your confidential address is not a substitute for long-term safety planning, but it can be a valuable tool in implementing such safety plans.
Getting an ACP address
The free Address Confidentiality Program is available to you if are a domestic violence victim and/or if you live with someone who is or has been a victim. To apply for admittance into the program, you must fill out an application in person at any Pennsylvania domestic violence shelter or sexual assault or domestic violence services provider. Advocates there will assist you with getting into the ACP and developing additional strategies to assure your future safety.
You will be given an ACP card containing several pieces of information, including the following:
Getting your mail
All Pennsylvania state and local entities and agencies must use your ACP address once they know it when mailing first class items to you. It is your responsibility to notify each such entity that you want it to use your ACP address when mailing such things to you as the following:
ACP personnel then forward your mail to you within five to seven days after they receive it. Be aware that your ACP address applies only to first class mail, not things such as magazine subscriptions, etc. Likewise, utilities and other private companies are not required by law to accept your ACP address. However, you and/or your domestic violence advocate may be able to convince them to do so. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.
For more information, contact Louis Wm. Martini, attorney at law.