Domestic violence, trafficking victims can now apply for confidentiality program

‘Survivors of human trafficking should never have to live in fear.’ Photo: Unsplash

Victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual offenses and human trafficking can now protect themselves from their perpetrators by getting a new undisclosed address.

The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) of the New York State Department of State will facilitate a swift and secure enrollment into the program for individuals who previously could only apply for the program via mail or fax.

Here is the link to apply: online application 

The ACP is available to assist individuals who are trying to rebuild their lives after experiencing a violent situation that put them in harm’s way. ACP is a free state program that allows victims to keep their physical address hidden from their perpetrators by using a substitute mailing address provided by the Department of State in lieu of their actual home, school or work address. The program currently serves approximately 3,200 people.

“In New York, we help protect our most vulnerable from violent situations that can endanger them and their families,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado who oversees this program. “The online application for the Address Confidentiality Program will make it faster and easier for thousands of New Yorkers in threatening situations to get protection from their perpetrators and help save lives.”

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Commissioner Mike Hein said, “Survivors of human trafficking should never have to live with the fear that their perpetrator may one day identify where they reside. The Address Confidentiality Program gives victims added confidence that they won’t put themselves at risk when providing their mailing address. This added layer of security will help more survivors step out of the shadow of fear cast by their traffickers and onto the path toward lasting stability.”

The ACP helps victims by:

  • Using an ACP substitute address. Once certified, the ACP participant, will receive an ID card containing his/her name, unique ID number and the substitute address, which is a Post Office box in Albany, New York. The card will also indicate the expiration date for the program participant and includes ACP contact information.
  • Accepting service of process. Participants in the ACP have designated the Secretary of State to accept any legal notices on their behalf. The Secretary of State’s office will not reveal any identifying information to the process server. The program will only verify whether the person being served is an ACP participant. A copy of any process will be mailed to the participant via certified mail.
  • Handling their mail. Any first class, registered, or certified mail sent to the substitute address will be re-packaged and forwarded to the participant’s actual mailing address. This is done daily, Monday through Friday (except holidays). Participants should expect a five to seven-day delay in receiving their mail. ACP will not forward packages, periodicals and catalogs, unless clearly identified as pharmaceuticals (prescription drugs) or they were sent by a government agency.

According to the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV), in 2018 there were 341,909 phone calls in its domestic violence and sexual assault hotlines. Moreover, the National Conference on Domestic Violence indicates that, on a regular day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. The numbers also show that in New York State in 2019, about 65 women died in the hands of an intimate partner.

New York State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline can be reached by phone: 1-800-942-6906, text: 844-997-2121 or chat:

The New York State Response to Human Trafficking Program, which provides case management services and is funded by the OTDA, has confirmed more than 250 cases of human trafficking in New York through October. Victims in confirmed human trafficking cases can now participate in ACP. 

For more information and assistance with the application process, please visit the ACP webpage at or call toll free at (855) 350-4595. — New York State Department of State 

(C) The FilAm 2020

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