NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In recognition of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Jan. 11 and National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Secretary of State Tre Hargett is encouraging anyone who has ever been a victim of human trafficking, stalking, domestic abuse or any sexual offense to protect themselves with the Safe at Home address confidentiality program.
“Safe at Home is a free program that prevents abusers from locating their victims through public records,” said Secretary Hargett. “If you are concerned about your address being a matter of public record, I recommend reaching out to Safe at Home to see if we can be a part of your safety plan."
While interacting with state and local government, one of the first things Tennesseans are asked to provide is their home address. This includes things we do every day like getting a driver’s license, registering to vote, registering for school, accessing assistance programs or legal purposes.
Under Tennessee law, most state and local government records are available for public review. These public records, which include home addresses and other identifying information, can make it easy for abusers to track and find their victims.
Safe at Home participants are issued a substitute address they can use anytime they interact with state and local government or anyone who could potentially make their home address part of the public record. This substitute address can be used by anyone in the household, including children, elderly parents and new spouses.
It is not uncommon for victims of human trafficking or domestic abuse to temporarily live in a shelter or a safety center. Before Safe at Home, these Tennesseans could not access many government services because they did not have a valid home address. With Safe at Home, participants can immediately access the services they need because they are provided with an address they can use to do so.
The first step to enrolling in the Safe at Home program is to complete an application with a partnering agency in your community. Safe at Home has partner agencies serving all 95 counties in Tennessee. Each partner agency has certified application assistants to guide participants through enrollment.
Safe at Home partner agencies include state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations that provide counseling and shelter services to victims of domestic abuse and other crimes. A list of partnering agencies is available on our website SafeAtHomeTN.com.
Safe at Home, which launched in 2019 and was expanded by the Tennessee State Legislature in 2021, is open to Tennesseans of any age or gender who have been victims of human trafficking, stalking, domestic abuse or any sexual offense. The program is currently serving hundreds of victims in 40 counties across Tennessee. There is no cost to participate in the Safe at Home program.
For more information about the Safe at Home program or to find a partner agency in your community, visit SafeAtHomeTN.com or call 615-253-3043.