A special thank you to Melanie Shellenberger , Safe at Home Program Administrator for the Office of Iowa Secretary of State, for writing this blog for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

 

Safe at Home

 

Survivors of assault and abuse often live in constant fear. Their days are filled with anxiety, knowing that their abuser or attacker might strike again. Sadly, this is a scenario many Iowans face every day. More than 3,000 convictions for domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking occurred last year. Many of us know someone who is a victim of one of these heinous crimes. In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness month this April, we would like to share a vital resource available in Iowa.

Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, stalking, and other violent crimes. SAH is open to Iowa residents and their minor children. Participants are assigned a legal substitute address that they can use in place of their actual, physical address. The Safe at Home program forwards the mail to their actual address. The intent of the program is to keep participants’ addresses from appearing on public records and allow them to live an active life.

Participants in the program can engage in civic activities such as voting via absentee ballot, obtaining a driver’s license, and registering their children for school while still ensuring their address remains private. The SAH program is most effective for participants who have recently relocated, as it is not possible to redact addresses that are already listed on public records.

Please help spread the word about Safe at Home. Our office is available to provide presentations, or to send out promotional materials, such as stickers, flyers, or brochures. For more information contact the SAH office at SafeAtHome@Iowa.gov or 515-725-SAFE. To print out an application, visit the SAH website at http://safeathome.iowa.gov/.