Subject:                          Legal Remedies: Safe at Home Program


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Legal Remedies

November 2016

Iowa Legal Aid

1111 9th Street, Suite 230

Des Moines, Iowa 50314

Spotting Legal Issues Survivors Face


 This information is being provided to help you recognize when a victim may be able to      benefit from legal advocacy, and/or when you should contact the Justice for Survivors        Project for technical assistance. Refer clients to a lawyer to get complete, correct and up-  to-date legal advice. This generalized information was correct as of the date below, but      the law may have changed since then; in any event this information is not a substitute for  individualized legal advice. 


 Question:  I recently moved to get away from the person who attacked me, but now I am  afraid s/he will find my address through a public records search. Is there anything I can do  to stop this? 


 Answer:  Yes!  Iowa passed the Safe at Home Act. This program provides survivors of  sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, trafficking or violent crimes with a substitute  address to use instead of their actual address, on public records. 

  • Participation in Safe at Home is free of charge.
  • You can participate if you are the adult survivor, or the family member who lives in the same home with, or are the minor child of, the survivor.
  • The application form is available online. You can apply on your own (on-line or by mail), or you can contact the:
  • Once your application is certified, you will get a substitute address.  You can use it as your legal mailing address. Government offices, including city/county clerks, county treasurers, the Dept. of Transportation, and the Dept. of Human Services, as well as private organizations that require a mailing address, will accept the substitute address.
  • Your first-class, legal, or certified mail, prescriptions and government packages, will be sent to the substitute address. The Iowa Secretary of State's office will have that mail forwarded to your confidential address. Your mail could be delayed up to seven days, however.
  • If you rent, your landlord cannot display your name on your public mailbox or any other public records. 
  • Safe at Home will protect addresses from the public. It cannot:
    • shield you from legal obligations, such as custody disputes;
    • or hide your address from real estate records, such as if you buy a home or office space 
  • If you are involved in a court case, you don't automatically have your give your real address to an attorney or judge. The judge must determine that having your real address is necessary for the case and there is no other way to get the information in order to force you to share your physical address.

 For more news, contact, call (515) 281-0145, or  visit


      Iowa Legal Aid:                                          Legal Hotline for Older Iowans

       1-800 532-1275                                                           1-800-992-8161


 You are receiving this "Legal Remedies" email because of collaboration between Iowa Legal Aid's Justice For  Survivors Project and its partners to benefit low-income victims of sexual abuse, domestic abuse, and stalking.  These partnerships are based on the premise that in working together, victims receive the supportive services  and legal help to address and remove obstacles to safety and self-sufficiency. The "Legal Remedies" emails are  intended to help you identify civil legal issues that may be the basis for referral of an individual or family  affected by sexual or domestic violence, or stalking, including abuse that occurs later in life. You may refer  clients who need legal help to Iowa Legal Aid's Justice For Survivors Project. Our intake # is 800/532-1275.


 This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-WL-AX-0036, awarded by the Office on Violence Against  Women, U. S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in  this publication are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of  Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.                                                                                             


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Iowa Legal Aid, 1111 9th Street, Suite 230, Des Moines, IA 50314



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