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Governor signs new protections for survivors of sexual offenses

New York State Office of Children and Family Services
One of Erie County's Safe Harbour billboards calling for an end to human trafficking.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday approved a law allowing victims of sexual offenses, stalking and human trafficking to hide their address from offenders.

Cuomo signed the measure and issued a statement saying it will protect survivors from “further abuse” by shielding their addresses from public view.

“Victims of heinous crimes like sexual assault and human trafficking should not have to live in constant fear that their assailant could find and potentially hurt them again,” he said.

The law takes effect in 90 days and allows those victims to use a substitute address from New York's Department of State instead of their work or home address.

Domestic violence victims were previously the only survivors eligible for the department's confidential address program, according to Cuomo's office.

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz of Queens noted the program has been “vitally important” to domestic violence survivors and the expansion will aid in protecting “society's most vulnerable members.”

State Sen. Julia Salazar of Brooklyn says the law will stop future physical violence and emotional harm while providing victims “the peace of mind they need and deserve.”

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