COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Ohio’s Secretary of State is reaching out to survivors of domestic violence, through a statewide program called “Safe at Home.”
There is address confidentiality and private voter registration, to domestic violence victims.
“The Safe at Home program is one that empowers Ohioans,” said Frank LaRose, Secretary of State for Ohio.
Secretary LaRose said the program shields the personal information of domestic violence victims from public records and provides them with a safe and secure way to participate in elections.
“They feared for their safety, so they weren’t registering to vote,” said Secretary LaRose.
LaRose said the website where people can go to register, not only offers victims the option to erase their search history, but also leave the site when they feel they’re being watched.
“Victims may need to immediately get out of this website so that if somebody comes down the hall, and is looking over their shoulder, they don’t find them on a site for domestic violence survivors, because that could lead to more abuse,” said LaRose.
LaRose discussed all of this while taking a tour of Lutheran Social Services Choices of Central Ohio, which is the only domestic violence shelter in Franklin County.
“Our shelter has been at or over capacity, every day, since December of 2020,” said Sue Villilo, Vice President of community-based services at Lutheran Social Services Choices.
Vice President Villilo said they’re already well over capacity with 144 residents, but that they’re in the process of expanding.
And with the need increasing, Secretary LaRose said programs and organizations like this must continue to be supported.
“For many of us, being quarantined at home is a chance to be with those that we love and support one another and all that. For some it means being locked at home with your abuser,” said LaRose.
The Safe at Home program has just over 1400 participants statewide, and if you or a loved one is in need of applying to the program, you can visit their website at https://www.ohiosos.gov/secretary-office/office-initiatives/safe-at-home/?cf_chl_jschl_tk=pmd_VZKUnWUU5BccG_H8aBHm9ll8wQyAQO4I2aW17EJGAVw-1631120070-0-gqNtZGzNAlCjcnBszQil