Montana's U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced today an $800,000 grant to support The Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Assistance Programs in Red Lodge. 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 lead the Senate in passing a strong bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in April.
"Today's announcement is a win for many rural Montana women and their families." Baucus said. "In Montana we have zero tolerance for violence - and programs such as these both help enforce this policy and encourage communities to look out for our mothers, sisters, daughters, and neighbors."
"We've got to do all we can to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and this initiative is a big step forward," Tester said. "Our next step is to get the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Act signed into law so that these services remain available for the people who need them."
Implemented through the Violence Against Women Act, the purpose of these programs is to enhance victim safety in cases of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in rural areas by encouraging partnerships among criminal justice agencies, victim service providers, and community organizations. The Domestic and Sexual Violence Services of Carbon County (DSVS), the lead agency for this project, is a community-based, nonprofit, program in Red Lodge, Montana. DSVS will partner will several other Montana agencies to implement the grant programs that will support outreach to rural areas in Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Wheatland, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Yellowstone and Carbon Counties.
Baucus played a key role in passing the original Violence Against Women Act legislation in 1994, and he and Tester worked hard to improve the program in this year's bill to make it better for even more Montana women.
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.