Montana's U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus announced that the University of Montana will receive nearly $300,000 in grants from the Department of Justice to expand its campus-wide coordinated response to violence against women. The grants are available through the Violence Against Women Act Baucus has been working to extend. The grants will help create a collaborative project between campus and community partners to curb violence against women and improve the response to victims of sexual and dating violence.
"No Montana community tolerates violence against women," said Tester, who also wrote a letter in support of the grant. "We need to do everything we can to prevent sexual violence, and these resources will help protect more Montana women. Our next step is to get the Senate's strong, bipartisan Violence Against Women Act signed into law so that valuable services remain available for the people who need them."
"This grant is an important step toward demonstrating a zero tolerance approach to sexual violence against our sisters, daughters and friends. The more we can work together to target the scourge of domestic violence on campus and off campus, the better we will be as a society," said Baucus, who wrote a letter to the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women in May urging the agency to unleash the funds for UM's program. "This is also one more reminder why it's so critical we extend a strong Violence Against Women Act that supports programs like this one all across the country."
Baucus played a key role in passing the original legislation in 1994, and he and Senator Tester worked hard to improve the program in this year's Senate 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.
* Learn more about the Violence Against Women Act HERE.
Additional background information from the University of Montana:
The Office of Violence Against Women grant awarded to the University of Montana will be used to expand, reorganize, and streamline the campus-wide approach to addressing interpersonal violence. This includes the creation of 1.0 FTE (12 month) Director of Student Assault Programming position, infusion of evidence-based student assault interventions throughout the academic university curriculum, and support for UM's Men of Strength Club. The principal investigator for the grant is John Sommers-Flanagan, Ph.D. of the Department of Counselor Education. The co-principal investigator is Kim Brown Campbell, Ed.D., also of the Department of Counselor Education, and resources to support Elizabeth Hubble, Ph.D. of Women's and Gender Studies, and Danielle Wozniak, Ph.D. of the School of Social Work are included in the grant.