Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
Des Moines, IA 50319
|OFFICE OF THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October, 2 2018
Secretary Pate launches "Share Their Story" initiative for Domestic Violence Awareness Month
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate launches a new initiative to connect survivors of domestic violence with state and local resources available to them, such as the Safe at Home program. Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program administered by the Secretary of State's Office. The "Share Their Story" initiative features dozens of community and business leaders, family members, and survivors who are sharing the stories of those who have experienced domestic violence.
"Often times, people who experience domestic violence are not comfortable sharing their stories publicly. 'Share Their Story' is a chance for our community to share survivors' stories to raise awareness and to point people to Safe at Home and other resources," said Melanie Shellenberger, Safe at Home program administrator.
Safe at Home helps survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking and stalking by providing them with a substitute address, mail forwarding, confidential voter registration and absentee voting.
"Participants can live an active life without having their actual address listed on public records," Secretary Pate said. "We have approximately 500 Iowans participating in Safe at Home. Many have been able to register to vote and participate in our elections for the first time in many years. Their stories are powerful and by sharing them, we can hopefully raise awareness about domestic violence and help put an end to it."
There were almost 3,000 domestic violence-related convictions in the state of Iowa in 2017. Nationally, one in four women and one in seven men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since its launch in January 2016, hundreds of Iowans have benefited by adding the Safe at Home program as part of their safety plan.
"This program allows victims and survivors to reclaim their sense of security while maintaining lifelong safety plans, allowing us to feel safe at home," said Tiffany Allison, domestic violence survivor and president of the Soaring Hearts Foundation.