Now a decade old, program that guards privacy of domestic violence victims looks to expand

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A program designed to protect victims of domestic violence from being found through use of public records is now in its tenth year.

Maureen, the project manager for the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) in the Secretary of State’s Office, is hoping to see the program expand into all 55 counties.

“It basically will shield their actual address from public record,” she said on WAJR-Clarksburg’s “The Gary Bowden Show” last week. “It can prevent an assailant from using public records as a means of finding their victim.”

For many victims of domestic violence who finally break free of the perpetrator, Maureen said finding normalcy is important.

“It allows the victim to conduct everyday business and try to maintain a normal sense of their day,” she said.

The ACP doesn’t just shield the address of victims. Rather, it can also be used as a means to handle DMV transactions, relocations, transfer of school records for children, and voting.

“A participant in the program has the option of choosing to vote by absentee ballot, or they can go to the polling place and vote on election day if they would prefer,” Maureen said.

The key is making sure that a victim attempting to move on with their life has flexibility, Maureen added. That is more attainable than it was ten years ago, when the program began in just a handful of counties.

“Currently, we have about 62 registered application assistants in 26 counties, and our goal has always been to try to have at least one assistant in every county,” she said.

More information is available here.

The 26 counties where assistance is available include:

  • Berkeley
  • Braxton
  • Cabell
  • Clay
  • Doddridge
  • Gilmer
  • Greenbrier
  • Harrison
  • Kanawha
  • Lewis
  • Logan
  • Marion
  • Mason
  • McDowell
  • Mercer
  • Mineral
  • Mingo
  • Monongalia
  • Monroe
  • Ohio
  • Randolph
  • Ritchie
  • Roane
  • Tyler
  • Wood
  • Wyoming

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