Legalized Fake Addresses: One Domestic Violence Solution?


Could a legalized fake address be a solution for some domestic violence? It’s being debated in Colorado. One woman told the Denver Post she would sign up: “He turned from Dr. Jekyll (to) Mr. Hyde after we got married and stayed there,” she said. “He is harassing me and he won’t leave me alone.” Under the proposal, victims of rape, domestic violence, or stalking could use a fake address, with the actual address known only to the secretary of state. The legislation is intended to protect people from abusers who could track them down online in minutes through public records.

The secretary of state would receive and forward any mail sent to the fake address. Victims who sign up for the confidentiality program could use the fake address on school records, voter registration cards, and income-tax forms. One Colorado woman said she has not registered to vote in 15 years because a teenager she testified against in an attempted murder case vowed to kill her someday. The legislation has wide, bipartisan support. House Speaker Andrew Romanoff said perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault likely would have to pay fees of about $20 to fund the address confidentiality program. Nearly 15,000 domestic violence cases were filed in Colorado courts in 2005. “There are not a lot of bills that you could describe as a matter of life and death, but this is one of them,” he said.


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