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Mo. Could Help Sex Trade Survivors Hide Addresses

Megan Lynch @MLynchOnAir
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(Courtesy of midwestdemocracyproject.org)

(Courtesy of midwestdemocracyproject.org)

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – A few weeks ago, KMOX News told you about the countless victims of the sex trade in the St. Louis area during our “Children for Sale” special report. If those victims ever manage to escape, one program in Missouri aims to keep their future location a secret.

For people fleeing sexual abuse or domestic violence, one real concern is that their abuser will track them down.

The “Safe at Home” program, run by the Missouri Secretary of State, offers them a mailing address they can use in public records.

“We don’t in our daily lives really give a lot of thought to how often we give out our home addresses, but if you are somebody who is a survivor of domestic violence for instance, then having someone find out your home address is a very big deal,” explains Secretary of State Jason Kander. “In one case we had a participant tell us the first peace she experienced was when she enrolled in the Safe at Home program.”

Kander says participants’ mail is sent to one central location, then sorted and forwarded to their true addresses. State and local agencies and the courts are required by law to accept the substitute address.

Those interested in participating in the program are asked to call (866) 509-1409 or email SafeAtHome@sos.mo.gov.

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