“Keeping Seniors Safe” AB 849, co-sponsored by CFC, protects victims of elder abuse (signed into law)

Update: AB 849 was signed into law by Governor Brown on October 9, 2013.

The Consumer Federation of California, along with Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Inc., co-sponsored AB 849 (Garcia), which authorizes community-based assistance programs serving victims of elder and dependent adult abuse to help those victims apply to an address confidentiality program.

Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may apply to participate in the Safe At Home address confidentiality program, which shields a victim’s home address from their abusers and provides a lifeline for victims in cases in which a restraining order may not be enough to protect them.

AB 849, now signed into law, ensures that victims of elder or dependent adult abuse who already qualify under these existing criteria (domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking) are able to apply for and participate in Safe At Home.

Most victims of elder abuse are harmed by someone they know, often a relative. To escape this mistreatment, leaving his or her home entirely may sometimes be the only option. Address confidentiality is vital for victims who have been forced to move to escape an abuser who continues to stalk, harass and abuse a victim.

Some abused elders and dependent adults are also victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault, and so are eligible to participate in the Safe at Home program.  By allowing elder and dependent adult abuse assistance programs to submit Safe at Home applications, this law will help ensure that eligible elder or dependent adult abuse victims are aware of their eligibility, and may apply to the address confidentiality program to ensure their ongoing safety and protection.

AB 849 has been supported by:
Consumer Federation of California (co-sponsor)
Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Inc. (co-sponsor)
California District Attorneys Association
California Police Chiefs Association
California State Sheriffs’ Association
Chief Probation Officers of California
National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter
WISE Healthy Aging