Tester Secures Nearly $3 Million for Domestic Violence Shelters and Service Providers in Montana
Funding to support rural domestic violence shelters, strengthen crime victim services;
Will benefit programs across Montana
As a part of his continued efforts to ensure Montana survivors of domestic violence have the resources they need to get back on their feet, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured $2,935,635 in funding for domestic violence shelters and services across the state. The funds come from the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)and will support domestic violence shelters and crime victim services in Montana to provide direct services for survivors and strengthen efforts to prevent violence .
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester secured these funds through the 2023 government funding bill. He was the only member of the Montana delegation to support the legislation.
“Montana’s domestic violence shelters, service providers, and law enforcement officers are on the ground every day delivering lifesaving services to domestic violence survivors and their families. We’ve got to make sure they have the resources they need to continue this critically important work,” said Tester. “That’s why I’m proud to have secured these funds to strengthen resources at our hard-working service providers and improve safety in Montana. Together, we will continue the fight to prevent violence, support survivors in Montana, and ensure they have what they need to recover, heal, and thrive.”
These funds are awarded as a part of the VAWA Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Program, which aims to support programs in rural areas. Specifically, these funds will be used to: identify and respond to child, youth, and adult victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking in rural communities; establish and expand victim services in rural communities; increase the safety and well-being of women and children in rural communities; or develop and improve the quality of sexual assault forensic medical examination or sexual assault nurse examiner programs.
These funds have been awarded to the following four multi-jurisdictional partnerships in Montana:
- $743,233 for HiLine’s Help for Abused Spouses to provide services in Liberty, Toole, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, Chouteau, and northwestern Lewis and Clark counties
- $748,539 for Friendship Center of Helena to provide services in Lewis and Clark, Jefferson, and Broadway counties
- $743,863 for Supporters of Abuse Free Environments to provide services in Ravalli County
- $700,000 for St. Peters Health Foundation to provide services in Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Jefferson, Meagher, and Powell counties
Tester has always worked diligently to ensure that Montana survivors of domestic violence have the resources they need to get back on their feet. He has been a longtime supporter of VAWA, and supported the passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act to continue and improve this critical law. In addition to supportingVAWA funding, Tester has also been a champion for federal resources to prevent and respond to domestic violence, including funding for law enforcement and Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding. After noticing a considerable diminishing balance in the Crime Victims Fund (CVF), Tester also crafted and passed the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act to increase deposits and maintain the solvency of the fund.