Address Confidentiality Bill signed into law
Bipartisan proposal strengthens victim protections

LA CROSSE – Bipartisan legislation co-authored by Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) to create an Address Confidentiality Program and strengthen protections for survivors of domestic abuse, stalking and sex trafficking was signed into law yesterday as 2015 Wisconsin Act 356. The Address Confidentiality Program will allow at-risk individuals to obtain an alternate postal address and have mail forwarded to their confidential home address.

“Safety is always a top concern for survivors of domestic abuse, stalking and human trafficking,” said Sen. Shilling. “Things that most families take for granted – like paying a utility bill, enrolling a child in after school activities or applying for a job – create potentially dangerous situations for many survivors. Wisconsin's new Address Confidentiality program is a simple and effective layer of protection that will help many survivors move forward with their lives.”

At least 34 other states currently provide residents with similar address safeguards. Minnesota launched an address confidentiality program in 2007 which has served more than 5,000 residents since its inception. Wisconsin's new law was supported by numerous organizations including End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, Legal Action of Wisconsin, the National Association of Social Workers - Wisconsin Chapter, the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, the Wisconsin Association of Family & Children's Agencies and the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault.