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Lewis House Recognized by Secretary of State
In the 30 years since our first Lewis House opened in Eagan, we have increased public awareness to the issue of domestic violence, saving countless lives and reducing the number of violent homes in our communities. Our second Lewis House now operates in Hastings.
The office of the Minnesota Secretary of State recently honored some of the outstanding community-based organizations including Lewis House in Hastings and Eagan for providing the Safe at Home address confidentiality program to victims of domestic violence.
At 360 Communities and the Lewis House, we do our work with the help of volunteers and the support of our community. The work to end domestic violence is never done and we can always use more resources.
“Safe at Home is run through the Secretary of State’s office,” explained Leslie Metzen, senior director of violence prevention at 360 Communities.
“It provides anonymity for victims of domestic violence and allows them to use a substitute addresses,” she said.
Outside the program, there are certain things, such as a driver’s license, that require a home address. Being able to put a post office box on everything affords victims more safety from their abuser, Metzen said.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie recognized a handful of Minnesota organizations that offer Safe at Home to the people who come to them. 360 Communities in Hastings and Eagan were among those recognized.
“During this time of budget cuts, it is important to recognize the extraordinary efforts of those who are committed to ensuring that crime victims’ services such as Safe at Home remain available,” Ritchie said in a press release. “Crime victims must be physically safe and must also feel safe—in their homes, in their schools, and at their places of employment. Our community-based partners and their statewide network of application assistants have helped numerous victims achieve a feeling of safety in their lives.”
When someone comes to the Lewis House or calls, she talks to an advocate who listens to her story and helps her find resources in the community. One thing advocates listen for is if a victim has moved or changed her locks and her abuser keeps coming back.
“If a victim is trying to hide from her abuser, Safe at Home would be one of the resources we offer,” Metzen said.
The Secretary of State’s recognition helps 360 Communities educate the public not only about domestic violence services and Safe at Home, but also about domestic violence in general.
“Domestic violence is a community issue. It cuts across all socioeconomic, racial, ethnic lines. It is everywhere,” she said.
360 Communities’ commitment is to ensure that women and girls are valued and respected and men are actively engaged to end violence against women and girls. Each of us can take some small action to stand up to the forces in our society that permit violence against women and girls, starting now!
At the two Dakota County Lewis Houses we do our work with the help of volunteers and the support of our community. The work to end domestic violence is never done and we can always use more resources.
There are many opportunities, both for short-term projects at the shelters and for continuing direct services to victims. And of course, we welcome your financial support. Giving is easy on our website: Donate Now!