Jon Tester Calls for the Passage of Violence Against Women Act

Montana domestic violence statistics make the case

BILLINGS, Mont. – Armed with statistics about the number of domestic violence crimes in Montana, Jon Tester is calling on Congress to reauthorize the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act–a bill he cosponsors.

Citing data from the Montana Board of Crime Control, Tester noted that at least 3,732 domestic violence crimes were reported across Montana in 2010.

The Violence Against Women Act provides assistance to victims and gives Montanans more tools in the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault. According to the National Associate of Attorneys General, the annual incidence of domestic violence has fallen by more than 50 percent since it was passed in 1994. The law expired last year.

Tester delivered a full endorsement of legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act on the Senate floor today.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on VAWA this week.

The U.S. House of Representatives has failed to bring the legislation to a vote.

“Jon is one of the strongest supporters of the Violence Against Women Act and has voted to deliver the tools law enforcement, advocacy programs to prevent domestic violence, and victims of violence need,” said Montanans for Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy. “By contrast, Congressman Dennis Rehberg has stood silent as his political allies and party bosses fail to protect women and refuse to bring this important legislation to a vote.”

Here’s the Montana facts on VAWA:

  • Between 2000 and 2010 there were 98 deaths in Montana attributed to domestic violence;
  • Montana receives $4 million from VAWA to help victims and law enforcement agencies;
  • Ten percent of these victims were children;
  • Montana experienced a startling 3,732 reported cases of domestic violence in 2010;
  • American Indian women who suffer a violent crime rate three and a half times the national average.
  • Montana’s most populous counties suffered from high rates of violence:
    • Yellowstone: 550
    • Missoula: 664
    • Cascade: 459
    • Flathead: 328
  • Montana’s rural counties suffered from high per-capita rates of violence:
    • Custer: 1 in 272
    • Dawson: 1 in 226
    • Park: 1 in 245
    • Rosebud: 1 in 228