Survivors of assault and abuse often live in constant fear. Their days are filled with anxiety 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 transpired in 2015. Many of us know someone who is a victim of one of these heinous crimes.
The state of Iowa now has a program that gives survivors the chance to start over and return to safety. Safe at Home (SAH) launched in January 2016 and is administered by the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. It is an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, stalking, or violent crimes. SAH is open to Iowa residents and their minor children. Participants are assigned a substitute legal address that they can use in place of their actual, physical address. The Safe at Home program forwards the participants’ mail to their actual address.
Participants in the program are able to engage in civic activities such as voting via absentee ballot, obtaining a driver’s license, and enrolling their children in 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. If you know of an organization that would benefit from a presentation or information for a publication, please contact SAH by e-mail at SafeAtHome@Iowa.gov.
If you or someone you know would like more information or to fill out an application, visit the SAH website at http://safeathome.iowa.gov/ or contact us at 515-725-SAFE.
Applicants are also encouraged to contact one of the following agencies to discuss their safety or to work with a local SAH Application Assistant:
Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence: http://www.icadv.org/ or 515.244.8028
Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault: http://www.iowacasa.org/ or 515.244.7424
Iowa Attorney General Crime Victim Services: https://www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov/for-crime-victims or 515.281.5044.