Tester Secures More than $1 Million to Defend Native Women and Children

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) based in Lame Deer will receive $1.2 million to help protect women and children by combatting domestic violence.

“Every Montanan deserves to be safe in their communities,” said Tester, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “Domestic violence is such an insidious crime because it robs people of the basic right to safety in their own homes. We must eliminate this terrible blight on our society, support survivors, and bring their assailants to justice.”

The funding comes from the U.S. Administration on Children, Youth and Families’ Family Violence Prevention and Services Program.

“NIWRC is so pleased to receive continued funding to further our work as the National Resource Center Addressing Domestic Violence Against Native Women and Families,” said Lucy Simpson, Executive Director of NIWRC. “This funding will allow us to continue providing technical assistance, training, and policy development education to tribal domestic violence programs across the country.”

Established in 2011, the NIWRC is a nonprofit organization that empowers native communities to effectively respond to and combat domestic violence through public awareness, on-site training, research, and policy initiatives.

The organization’s goal is to hold perpetrators of domestic violence accountable while making sure Native women and children are entitled to three basic things:
1) safety from violence within their homes and in their communities;
2) justice both on and off tribal lands; and
3) access to services designed by and for Native women based on their tribal beliefs and practices.

As a longtime member and former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Tester has been a staunch advocate for women and children across Indian Country. He recently introduced an amendment to the 2017 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Act to ensure at least five percent of proceeds from the Crime Victims Fund go towards help victims of violent crime in Indian Country. And he secured more than $2.7 million to combat violence against Native American women, $500,000 of which went to the NIWRC.

Tester also supported the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which increased resources to combat domestic violence in Indian Country, where women are three and half times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the national average.