Attorney General Announces New Program for Domestic and Sexual Violence Victims - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

6/03/08 - Lufkin

Attorney General Announces New Program for Domestic and Sexual Violence Victims

As domestic violence and sexual assaults continue to take place in Texas, the Attorney General's office has announced an inovative program that is designed to protect the victims of these crimes.

Lufkin police say they're no strangers to dealing with domestic violence cases.

"There's not a day goes by that we don't arrest someone with domestic violence charges. It's an ongoing problem, it's something that the legislature has addressed with stricter laws and we're addressing with stricter enforement, but it still continues to be a problem." says Lt. David Young with the Lufkin Police Department.

Places like the Janelle Grum Family Crisis Center employs top of the line security measures for it's clients.

Now, the Texas Attorney General's Office has implemented a program for victims who don't live in the shelter's safehouse.

The Confidential Address program assigns the victim a confidential, anonymous address that all of their mail will go to.

The Attorney General's office will then forward the mail to the person's actual address.

The address will appear on voter and school registrations, driver's licenses, and other government documents.

The first step is for applicants to consult with a victim's advocate as part of the application process.

"Applicants must meet with a local domestic violence shelter, sexual assault shelter, law enforcement or prosecutor office staff member to discuss a safety plan and learn about the enrollment process." says Attorney General spokesman Dirk Fillpot.

Professional counselors who work with domestic and sexual assault victims say that victims who try to get away from violent situations have a challenge when they move.

<Sot - deidra ware

According to counselor Deidra Ware, keeping a low profile can be a challenge for assault victims.

"They have their current or past address on their driver's license, or paperwork and you lay that down or have it in your car and your stalker or partner walks by your car and sees that address and they try to track you down. That makes it difficult to establish a new live, a new begining."

But now, the new Confidential Address program changes all of that.

"With this program, it's a great advantage to help the client re-establish a sense of stablility and control of their lives." says Ware

If you would like more information, you can contact the Women's Shelter of East Texas.

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