Montana's U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced a nearly $200,000 grant for the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence today. The grant was made possible by the Violence Against Women Act, which provides more than $4 million for 50 programs across Montana, including today's grant.
Baucus and Tester helped pass a strong bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act through the Senate in April.
"The Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence does critical work every day to make our communities safer, and this grant will help continue our commitment to a zero tolerance policy against violence," Baucus said. "This is just one more reminder that we can't afford to delay any longer in passing a strong reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. It's time to show our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends that we stand with them."
"The Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence supports women across Montana and makes our state a safer and better place to live," Tester said. "We need to empower Montana women by giving law enforcement, our courts, and service providers the tools they need. I'll keep backing responsible initiatives that improve the lives of Montana women."
"Funding from the Violence Against Women Act is essential for victim service programs in Montana. It allows us to address the important issues of both sexual and domestic violence - both of which are serious crimes that affect our communities broadly," said Executive Director of the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Kelsen Young. "We thank Senators Baucus and Tester for their ongoing support for the reauthorization of VAWA and urge Congress to act now in order to continue these vital programs."
The Violence Against Women Act grant is a major funding source that allows the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence to keep its doors open. It is also the only grant that supports the Coalition's work to combat sexual assault and provides support for victims of sexual violence.
Baucus played a key role in passing the original legislation in 1994, and he and Tester worked hard to improve the program in this year's bill to make it work even better for Montana.
Since the Violence Against Women Act first passed in 1994:
· The Act has saved nearly $14.8 billion in net averted social costs in its first six years alone.
· More victims report domestic violence to the police; there has been up to a 51% increase in reporting by women and a 37% increase in reporting by men.
· The rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence against women has decreased by 53%.
· The number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased by 34% for women and 57% for men.