With a unanimous vote, the Assembly Judiciary Committee passed Assembly Bill 849 -- legislation that will extend provisions in state law to protect victims of elder abuse from their abusers.
The measure, authored by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia of the 58th Assembly District (which includes Cerritos and Artesia), will allow a victim of elder abuse or dependent adult abuse to enroll in California’s address confidentiality program, “Safe at Home,” to shield their home address from their abusers.
Currently the same protection is available only to victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and stalking.
In her testimony before the committee, Assemblymember Garcia pointed out that California’s senior population is growing rapidly and a greater number of people today remain vulnerable to physical, emotional and financial abuse.
Under the “Safe at Home” program, a victim can apply with a local victim’s assistance organization to ask the Secretary of State for a protected, confidential mailing address as a protection against being further victimized.
“The ‘Safe at Home’ program provides a lifeline for victims, when a restraining order may not be enoughto protect a victim from a persistent abuser,” said Assemblymember Garcia.
“I am proud to expand this protection to keep seniors safe and prevent them from being repeatedly victimized at the hands of the same perpetrators,” she added.
The legislation will now move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for a future hearing.
AB 849 is supported by California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriffs' Association, Chief Probation Officers of California, California District Attorneys Association, Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Inc.. WISE Healthy Aging, Consumer Federation of California and the National Association of Social Workers -- California Chapter.