October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Minnesota.
To mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Secretary of State Steve Simon is reminding Minnesotans who fear for their safety, including victims of domestic violence, about the Secretary’s Safe at Home address confidentiality program.
“The Safe at Home program has assisted thousands of Minnesotans since its inception and is critical to ensuring protection for victims of domestic violence,” said Simon. “I encourage any Minnesotan who fears for their safety to meet with an application assistant and determine if enrolling in the Safe at Home program is an appropriate step to take. I’ve learned firsthand while traveling the state that this service has saved lives and I will work day and night to strengthen it as long as I’m Secretary of State.”
Safe at Home assists Minnesotans who wish to keep the location of their physical residence private for personal safety reasons, often because they are victims of domestic violence and stalking. Participants enrolled in Safe at Home use a P.O. Box as their legal address for all purposes. First class mail sent to the P.O. Box is forwarded to the participant’s physical address by the Secretary of State, and all participants designate the Secretary of State as their agent for legal service of process.
Safe at Home partners with organizations all around the state to work with people who wish to enroll in the program. Application assistants, employed by these organizations, are specially trained by Safe at Home to assist those who are interested in enrolling. A person who wants to enroll in the program meets face-to-face with an application assistant to discuss their safety concerns and the assistant works with them to determine whether enrolling in Safe at Home is a good safety step for the person to take.
To find an application assistant in go to http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=878. Please note, individuals can monitor computer and Internet use. If a person is in danger, it is advised to use a safer computer.
Simon has made strengthening and increasing awareness about Safe at Home one of his top priorities as Secretary of State. Earlier this year, he worked with Republicans and Democrats to successfully pass a bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton in May, to further strengthen the program by providing courts with a uniform framework when working with Safe at Home participants.