Goal of new state laws is to keep victims of violence safer at home

Hoping to better protect victims of stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence and other crimes, legislators in Iowa and Minnesota adopted new “Safe at Home” laws this year. Iowa’s HF 585 was signed into law in May after receiving unanimous legislative approval. It creates an address confidentiality program for certain crime victims. Under the program, victims can have their mail sent to the Iowa secretary of state’s office, which then forwards it to their home addresses. The program will allow victims to keep their home addresses confidential when registering to vote and conducting other official business.

According to The National Center for Victims of Crime, 36 states have Safe at Home programs in place, including Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. (Wisconsin’s is for voter registration only.)
This year’s Minnesota legislation provides more clarity on when the addresses of Safe at Home participants should be disclosed as part of legal proceedings. Courts sometimes order the disclosure if an address is needed for an investigation, prosecution or litigation. SF 878 provides more protections for victims by establishing a framework for courts to use when making their address-disclosure decisions.
Stateline Midwest - June 20151.67 MB