Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz launched a public service announcement Friday for Connecticut’s Safe at Home: A Confidential Address Program for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Domestic violence doesn’t have a face,” Lt. Rebeca Garcia said. “It doesn’t discriminate against age, race or class.” Garcia, who has been a Bridgeport police officer for 18 years, has dealt with the issue of domestic violence. She said it is an epidemic. “If it’s not addressed, it’s going to keep happening generation after generation.”
With the help of Comcast Cable and their donation of $100,000 to Connecticut’s Safe at Home program, Bysiewicz and Garcia participated in making two public service announcements, one in English and one in Spanish, reaching out to victims of assault.
“It’s important to reach out in both Spanish and English so everyone gets the message in Connecticut,” Bysiewicz said.
Since 2004 Safe at Home has been protecting the identities of victims. Once someone has enrolled into the program their address and private information cannot be obtained from DMV records, voter registration records, FOIA or any other state database.
“Often times victims are unwilling to come forward because they are in fear of their lives,” Bysiewicz said. “We’re here to help and get victims away from the abuse.”
There are currently 60 people registered in the program. Bysiewicz hopes the public service announcements will educate people on the program’s availability and allow victims to get the help they need.
Bysiewicz said if an abuser or stalker knows where you live then the program is not going to help.
“Sometimes it’s out of someone’s economic reach to get to a safe place,” she said. The program will only help if a victim’s address is unknown to the abuser. According to Bysiewicz, some mothers are reluctant to take kids out of school and move their children somewhere else.
Bysiewicz added that many out-of-state victims have registered for the program when they come to live in Connecticut.