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Can I Keep My Address Secret?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed January 2020

Can I keep my address a secret from the person who abused me when I fill out these forms?

Yes.

You do not need to put your home address,number, the name of your workplace, work address, work phone number, the name of your school, or your school address on the Complaint for Protection from Abuse.  Inside write the confidential information on a Confidential Information form. This form is kept in a different file somewhere in the court so the abusive person can't see it.

If you do not want your address and other contact information to appear on your 209A restraining order, check boxes 4a, 4b, and 4c in section J of the Complaint for Protection from Abuse.

You still need to be careful even if you get the court to keep your address secret. There are many other ways that the abusive person can find out where you live.

Is the Confidential Information form the same as the Address Confidentiality Program?

No. The Address Confidentiality Program is different. It tells government agencies to keep your address secret. It sets up another mailing address for you. All of your mail should be sent to this address. You must use this address on any form that asks for your home, work, or school address. The Address Confidentiality Program staff will forward mail to you real address. This way nobody knows your real address except the Address Confidentiality Program and the post office.

To use this program, you must:

  • Live at a new address that the abusive person does not know and
  • Showthat your life or your child's life will be in danger if the abusive person learns your address

If you use this program, you must never tell the abusive person or any government agency what your address is. If you want to apply for this program, ask the court clerk about it. The clerk at the District Court or the Probate and Family Court may be able to help you. Your local domestic violence agency also may be able to help you. You can also apply by calling the Address Confidentiality Program at 1-866-SAFE-ADD.