Tester Announces Resources for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors

(Helena, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester today announced over $2.85 million to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Montana.

“Supporting survivors of domestic and sexual violence should be one of our state’s top priorities,” Tester said. “This funding will go towards helping these folks directly, while also supporting efforts to bring about system-wide change so that we can prevent this kind of violence in the first place.”

The grants, funded by the Department of Justice, have been awarded to seven local organizations working to combat sexual and domestic violence at both the systemic and grassroots level.

  • Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV) – $800,000
    Founded in 1986, MCADSV connects domestic and sexual violence service providers while also advocating for systematic reform throughout Montana. This grant will go towards funding the group’s Sexual Assault and Legal Services Program (SALS).

  • Dawson County Domestic Violence Program (DCDV) – $407,720
    DCDV was one of the first community-based domestic violence programs established in the state of Montana. Founded in 1979, the DCDV is a grassroots organization that provides support services to survivors of sexual and domestic violence throughout Dawson, Prairie, and Wibaux counties. 

  • Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) – $400,000
    The MLSA is a pro-bono law firm that provides legal aid and advice to low-income Montanans for free. This funding will go towards legal assistance for victims of domestic violence, which includes work on individual cases as well as large, systemic issues and educating community organizations about the legal issues surrounding domestic violence.

  • Fort Belknap Indian Community – $265,632 
    This funding will go toward implementing the Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Sexual Assault and Stalking Assistance Program across the Fort Belknap Reservation. This program will bolster support and legal aid services for domestic and sexual violence survivors.

  • SAFE Harbor – $464,860
    SAFE Harbor is a nonprofit organization based out of Ronan, that has been providing support and services to domestic and sexual violence survivors throughout Lake County and the Flathead Reservation for more than 20 years. This funding will go towards organizing weekly support groups, providing counseling for victims and their family members, and implementing intervention programs throughout the community.

  • Custer Network Against Domestic Abuse (CNADA) – $193,097
    CNADA is a nonprofit organization that provides support services for residents of Custer, Garfield, Powder River, Rosebud, and Treasure counties. This funding will go towards providing crisis response services, support groups, interpretation and language services for sexual abuse survivors. It will also fund a new Coordinated Community Response Team, professional trainings for law enforcement, health care providers and other groups who work with victims, and a public awareness campaign.

  • Women’s Resource Center of Dillon – $327,918
    The nonprofit Women’s Resource Center of Dillion provides direct services to sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking survivors throughout Beaverhead and Madison Counties. This funding will go toward providing victims with more affordable, accessible legal advice and representation regarding the abuse they have suffered. 

Tester has been a staunch advocate for sexual and domestic abuse survivors in the Senate. Earlier this year, Tester helped pass out of Committee the 2017 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Act, which invests $481.5 million in the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women. He also helped the state secure $8.4 million in funding for victims of violent crime through the Victims of Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act grant programs, both of which he fought to fund as a Senior member of the Appropriations Committee.

Tester also supported the 2012 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act which provided greater resources for Indian Country to combat domestic violence. He is also fighting to ensure that a designated 5% from the Crime Victims Fund will support Indian Country families.