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State Program Provides Confidential Mailing Addresses for Abuse Victims

Safe at Home was developed in 2007 and today more than 1,000 abuse victims participate.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Behind closed doors at the St. Joseph Y.W.C.A. are domestic abuse victims and their families.

They're safe at the shelter, but at some point, they'll want to leave and try to rebuild their lives. From that point, it can be dangerous.

"Abusers can track down their victim," said Jean Brown, Executive Director of the Y.W.C.A. "Often times they may go through routine measures like a utility company or some other official that would be contacting a woman."

That's where the Safe at Home program comes in.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kandor stopped by the Y.W.C.A. in St. Joseph on Tuesday to tour the women's shelter and share information about Safe at Home. He explained that the program is a way for domestic violence victims to get an anonymous post office box address in an effort to keep their assailants from finding them.

"Whether they're applying for a job or dealing with a court or a state agency, they're able to put down an address that doesn't require them to divulge where they're living and their mail can come to Jefferson City and be forwarded to them," Kandor said.

The need for programs like Safe at Home continues to grow as more domestic abuse victims come in the doors.

"The issue is very real in our community," Brown said. "We talked about that we are a 45 bed facility and today we are at 57."

Other area social service agencies are also on-board with the program.

"If you are a victim of domestic violence and you are terrified that your abuser is going to find you, it gives you a sense of security that your address is confidential and no one is going to be able to find you," said Amy Ward of Catholic Charities.

More than 1,000 women currently are enrolled in Safe at Home. Everyone agrees it's working.

"This is a program, to my knowledge, is absolutely safe and secure and has never been violated," said Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Scroggins.

Domestic abuse survivors interested in the Safe at Home program can register at any county prosecutor's office or victim counseling center.

More information is available by clicking here.

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