Texas Address Confidentiality Program Update
"So far my residence address is now protected on my driver's license, Austin County tax records, library, and voter registration. The only place that insists on home address and won't accept ACP is the federal government's DTV coupon program. So we'll pay 80 dollars to watch our old TV after February. May that be my biggest problem in life." Address Confidentiality Program participant
With increased public access to personal information, there is a rising need for address confidentiality for victims of family violence, sexual assault and stalking. Fearing for their safety, many victims do not obtain a driver's license or register to vote. As directed by the Texas Legislature, the Office of the Attorney General implemented the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) on June 1, 2008, to provide these victims with a confidential address. The program, which provides a substitute post office box address and free mail forwarding service, has enrolled 199 participants and processed 907 pieces of mail in the last 10 months.
ACP is a safety tool and intended as one step in an overall safety plan. It is neither a witness protection program nor a guarantee of safety. Laws governing the program are found in Chapter 56, Subchapter C, of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Key among these measures is the mandate for participants to meet with an advocate in order to enroll in the program. ACP does not accept applications directly from victims.
The program along with the Texas Council on Family Violence and the Texas District and County Attorneys Association has provided training across the state to shelter staff, prosecutor offices and other advocates. The program is currently offering training in the Austin area and by telephone to advocates across Texas. For more information on ACP, please access the ACP Web page at www.oag.state.tx.us/victims/acp.shtml. For additional information or to request training, please call the ACP hotline at (888) 832-2322 Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm.