TRENTON, N.J. – On Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz that expands the address confidentiality program to include victims of sexual assault and stalking.
“No one should ever have to fear for their lives or their children’s while living in their own home,” said Munoz (R-Union). “This law will protect more victims and hopefully give them some peace of mind.”
Currently, the address confidentiality program permits victims of domestic violence to use an alternate mailing address to guard them from offenders who use public records. The program only requires an applicant to submit a sworn statement that they fear further violence. The assailant does not have to be charged with or convicted of any criminal offense or subject to a restraining order.
“I’m proud of this survivor-centric bill that considers the realities victims face every day and provides support and trust,” said Munoz.
Under the law, victims may apply for protection through the program every four years. Mail sent to the alternate address is forwarded to the victim’s actual address. The program is overseen by the Division on Women in the Department of Children and Families. From July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016, it served approximately 270 domestic violence victims and more than 400 of their children.
The law (S1761/A1651) passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously and takes effect 60 days following the signing.