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CULTURE WATCH : Postal Changes Seek Security

January 06, 1994

Hoping to make it a bit easier for battered women to leave their troubles behind, the U.S. Postal Service this week announced two planned changes in its mail-forwarding system.

One change would prevent people from simply walking into a post office and finding out where someone has moved.

The other would block new address information of people protected by court orders from the system's address correction services.

"If both these changes result in one person or one family feeling safe, then I'm all for it," Postmaster General Marvin Runyon says. "Clearly, there are troubled individuals who could use our system of address changes for malicious purposes."

Two million to 4 million women are physically abused each year, the National Victim Center says. Domestic violence causes 100,000 days of hospitalization and 30,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms each year, the American Medical Assn. says.

Runyon says the new policies should take effect within six months.

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