Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon visited Montevideo Friday as part of a series of stops in southwest Minnesota to discuss issues with local officials.

 

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon visited Montevideo Friday as part of a series of stops in southwest Minnesota to discuss issues with local officials.

Simon met with Denice Loy, director of the Chippewa County Victim Witness Program at the court­house, to talk about the Safe at Home program in Chippewa County.

The Safe at Home address and confidentiality  program was created in 2007 and is under direct supervision of the secretary of state.

Safe at Home helps survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and others who fear for their safety by establishing a confidential mailing address. It helps survivors go about their daily lives  without  the risk  of their abusers discovering their actual address.

Participants in the program are given a P.O. Box as their legal address for all purposes, including paying bills, filing taxes, and legal services. First class mail is sent to the P.O. box address and then forwarded to the participants’ physical address by the secretary of state’s office.

Simon has been part of the program from its beginning. “I was in the legislature before I had this job. I was involved in the Safe at Home program because, at the time, I worked with the secretary of state’s office  and carried legislation to help tweek the program. Here I am,  years later, in a position to administer the program!”

Public awareness is something that Simon feels is important. “The program is only 10 years old, so we want to  get the  word out so more people know about it. Just knowing there is a program available for victims of domestic abuse can make all the difference in the world,” Simon said.


For more on this story and others pick up this week’s paper or subscribe today!