Helena Independent Record: Tester tours Friendship Center

The Friendship Center opened its doors to Sen. Jon Tester on Wednesday afternoon, giving the U.S. Democrat a glimpse of the shelter and services it provides to women who are survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Tester joined the center’s staff on a tour of its facility, which serves women in Broadwater, Jefferson and Lewis and Clark counties.

Tester called the Violence Against Women Act one of the largest “direct avenues” by which the federal government can address domestic and sexual violence. He cosponsored the congressional bill to reauthorize the act earlier this year.

“It’s really important as we talk about opportunities of where we’re going to cut in the budget — and those conversations have to go on,” Tester said. “Programs like this, which, quite frankly have seen an increase in the need for funds … have the money they need so they can work with the community to meet the needs of women who’ve had violence committed against them.”