St. Paul, Minn. (April 18, 2011) – In recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10-16, the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State held an event on April 16 to honor some of the outstanding community-based organizations and application assistants who make the Safe at Home address confidentiality program available to victims of crime.
The Safe at Home program helps people who have reason to fear for their safety by providing a substitute address that they can use for virtually all interactions with others, greatly reducing the likelihood that a harmful person will locate them.
“During this time of budget cuts, it is important to recognize the extraordinary efforts of those who are committed to ensuring that crime victims’ services such as Safe at Home remain available,” said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. “Crime victims must be physically safe and must also feel safe-in their homes, in their schools, and at their places of employment.
“Our community-based partners and their statewide network of application assistants have helped numerous victims achieve a feeling of safety in their lives.”
Since its implementation almost four years ago, Safe at Home has already helped over 1,100 Minnesotans feel safer. In fact, more than 91 percent of program participants who responded to a recent survey indicated that they now feel safe all or most of the time-a feeling they didn’t have before joining Safe at Home. More than 63 percent of all participants who responded reported the best thing about being a Safe at Home participant was their overall improved sense of personal well-being.
The Office of the Secretary of State partners with community-based organizations throughout Minnesota to administer the Safe at Home program. Community-based organizations employ the application assistants that are the gateway to program services. Every program participant must meet with an application assistant to develop a personal safety plan. No application assistants are paid, employed or contracted with the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State. However, an application assistant must complete Office of Secretary of State Safe at Home program training requirements.
The community organizations that were recognized included: Tubman (Twin Cities); Women’s Shelter (Rochester); Cornerstone Advocacy Services (Bloomington); Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project (Statewide); 360 Communities (Hastings, Eagan); St. Paul Domestic Abuse Intervention Project; Missions Inc./Home Free (Twin Cities); Anna Marie’s Alliance (St. Cloud).
More information about Safe at Home and how to become a Safe at Home Application Assistant is available at www.sos.state.mn.us or by phone at 651-201-1399.