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Statewide program to help victims of domestic abuse launches Jan. 1

This news story was published on December 27, 2015.
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DES MOINES — Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announces that his office is now accepting applications for people interested in participating in the Safe at Home program. Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking and stalking.

“This program is about helping victims of violence become survivors,” Secretary of State Paul Pate said. “My office has worked diligently to institute the Safe at Home program in Iowa and we are prepared for the full launch on January 1. I urge anyone who is looking for a way out of an abusive situation, so that they can move forward with their lives, to consider the Safe at Home program.”

Secretary Pate estimates around 150 applicants will sign up for the Safe at Home program within the first six months, and that number will grow to around 500 within the first two years. Pate’s office will work closely with the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault to institute and promote the program.

“We are thrilled to have the Safe at Home program available to individuals affected by domestic violence across the state,” says Lindsay Pingel, director of Community Engagement at the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “This is another tool that will allow survivors to rebuild their lives after leaving an abusive relationship.”

Iowa joins 33 other states across the country in adopting an address confidentiality program.

“We are extremely fortunate to have such supportive allies at the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. They have been in contact with us every step of the way, and we appreciate their sensitivity and discretion in regards to the rollout of this law. We applaud their efforts and we look forward to continuing to work with them to protect and empower survivors,” said Beth Barnhill, executive director for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

State Representative Dean Fisher of Garwin spearheaded the efforts to pass the Safe at Home bill in the Iowa Legislature. It received unanimous support in both chambers and was signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad in May.

“From the time I was first told about Safe At Home by a young mother suffering from domestic abuse, I’ve been eager to bring this program to Iowa. Soon it will be helping to change lives for the better. I greatly appreciate the hard work by the Secretary of State’s office in implementing the program,” Rep. Dean Fisher said.

To learn more about the Safe at Home program or to register, visit Applications are also available through state agencies across Iowa, victims’ advocacy groups across the state, and at law enforcement centers.

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