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‘Safe At Home’ Program Protects Victims’ Locations

Even with the year still being only four months young, the state of Missouri has already received 7,000 reports of domestic violence. A program administered by the Secretary of State’s office has the potential to help keep victims of domestic abuse safe. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the story.

Stand-Up: I’m currently standing here on the steps of the Family Violence Center, where many women use this place as a launching pad to a safer lifestyle.

"We all know how easy it is to find somebody. You can get on the internet, you can Google somebody. There’s a million different ways to find out where somebody is.”

That’s the voice of a woman we’ll call Debra, who’s been living at the shelter since December.

“I really I don’t want the surprise of opening the door and having my abuser be there,” she says.

Through the Safe At Home program, victims of domestic abuse, like Debra, have the option of having their mail forwarded so they can keep their location confidential. The program, which has been serving Missourians since 2007, allows victims to relocate to a much safer environment without allowing their abusers to follow them. Debra says the service is invaluable.

“I can’t speak for other women, but I know that personally I’ve gone to friends and relatives first and it didn’t take but a minute for my abuser to find me there.”

Today over 600 people use the Safe At Home program. Abe Rakov is a spokesperson for Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office.

“As of now there are about 65 incidents of domestic violence a day on average in Missouri. So it’s something that the office cares about and something that when we came up with this program in 2007 it was just an important step to take to protect Missourians,” says Rakov.

According to the program’s web site, Safe At Home may be right for you if you are a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or rape or if you recently relocated to an address unknown to your abuser. Missourians can begin the application process by visiting MOSafeAtHome.com.

For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.