Address Confidentialty Program Officially Opens
PHOENIX – Domestic violence continues to be one of the most troubling problems facing society. To help protect victims from this cycle of abuse, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett has announced Arizona's new Address Confidentiality Program have begun its operations. The new program allows victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse or stalking to keep their residential addresses confidential by giving them the substitute address of the Secretary of State’s office.
“Domestic violence is a devastating crime, often causing irreparable harm which no one should ever fall victim to,” Secretary Bennett said. “We must do everything we can to not only prevent domestic violence in the first place, but also take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Under the new law, the Secretary of State’s office can receive first-class, certified or registered mail on behalf of program participants and forward it at no charge. The program is funded by a $50 assessment levied on persons convicted of these crimes.
“Domestic violence victims need to know that Arizona is serious about protecting them from further acts of violence or intimidation,” said Bennett. “Domestic violence has no place in our society and this program can provide an additional layer of protection from their abusers.”
In conjunction with the launch of the program, Secretary Bennett has announced the hiring of Betty McEntire as the Address Confidentiality Program's first Executive Director. In addition managing the program, Ms. McEntire will be a representative of the Secretary of State's Office to the domestic violence and sexual assault prevention community. Former State Representative Lucy Mason was also selected to serve as Assistant Director.
A graduate of NAU and native Arizonan, Betty McEntire has worked to eradicate and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault around the state for the past 15 years. She previously has served as the Training Coordinator for the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
"I support a community where every woman, man and child can live in peace and without the fear of abuse and violence in their homes," she said. "I'm excited to be a part of a program that can truly make a difference for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse."
Secretary Bennett worked with the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence and state legislators; Andy Tobin, Katie Hobbs, Jeff Dial, Michele Reagan, Linda Gray, Kimberly Yee, Steve Gallardo, Kyrsten Sinema, and John McComish to establish the Address Confidentiality Program which was signed into law by Governor Brewer earlier this year.
“This new program was a collaborative effort from the start,” continued the Secretary. “Representative JD Mesnard spearheaded the legislation in the House and Senator Frank Antenori provided the leadership in the Senate. Combined with the passionate input of the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence and input of Governor Brewer, we’ve got a new state program that benefits a vulnerable group of people who really need our help.”
To view the legislation for this program, click here.