A Des Moines woman who was the subject of repeated acts of domestic violence is suing the city’s police department, alleging officers failed to arrest her attacker as required by state law. (Photo by Getty Images)
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has partnered with dentists across the state in an effort to raise awareness of an address-confidentiality program for the survivors of domestic violence.
Pamphlets, brochures and magnets promoting the Safe At Home program have been mailed to dentists in all 99 counties, Pate’s office said Thursday. Dentists are being encouraged to prominently display the materials materials and share program information with their patients.
Safe at Home gives the survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking and stalking a substitute address that allows their actual address to be shielded from disclosure through public records. It also provides mail-forwarding services and confidential voter registration.
The program, administered by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, currently serves more than 600 participants across 62 counties.
“It is my hope that by distributing information about Safe at Home to dental offices, it will get into the hands of victims and survivors,” Pate said. “The program adds an important layer of protection for Iowans, makes them feel safer and more secure, and provides peace of mind.”
Pate’s office said dental professionals may be able to identify abuse “based on oral injuries and can assist patients by providing information” about how address confidentiality can help them.
“Dentists, hygienists, and other dental professionals are uniquely positioned to offer support to victims of abuse or neglect, and this program helps Iowans get the support they need,” said Dr. Nathan Hehr, president of the Iowa Dental Association.
To learn more or to apply for the Safe at Home program, visit SafeatHome.iowa.gov.
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