Media releases from the offices of U.S. Rep. Daines and Sen. Walsh:
• Rep. Steve Daines on Aug. 26 applauded the announcement that the Office on Violence Against Women will designate $3 million to prevent and prosecute violence against women in eastern Montana and the Bakken region.
The Fort Peck Assinboine and Sioux Tribes and the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence are among five grantees who will receive funds for a variety of anti-violence initiatives including “mental health counseling, advocacy, legal assistance, prevention education, sexual assault forensic examiner programs, Sexual Assault Response Teams, and law enforcement training,” according to the Department of Justice.
“I’ve seen and heard firsthand the challenges facing eastern Montana families and law enforcement in responding to domestic violence,” Daines said. “I’m pleased eastern Montana communities and the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes will have additional resources to ensure survivors of domestic violence receive the justice and support they deserve.”
Under the grant, the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes will receive $450,000 over three years to support the salary, travel, and training costs of a tribal prosecutor, who will be cross-designated to serve as a tribal Special Assistant United States Attorney in the local U.S. Attorney’s Office.
• Sen. John Walsh called the grants an important step in preventing and prosecuting crimes of domestic and sexual violence:
“These grants are an overdue step to help communities in the Bakken region prosecute crimes of violence against women and educate the public about sexual assault prevention, making our state safer and stronger. By taking this important first step, we are strengthening our judicial institutions and creating a more effective framework to address future abuse for the Fort Peck Tribes."
While traveling across the state, Walsh has heard about the importance of funding Violence Against Women programs.
The grants will go to the Fort Peck Assiniboine Tribes and Sioux in Poplar and the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence in Helena as well as other organizations and communities in North Dakota.