Missoula County Receives $450,000 Sexual & Relationship Violence Services Grant
Missoula City-County Relationship Violence Services (RVS) has received a three-year $450,000 grant to support direct services to victims of relationship and sexual violence, and to provide training.
Missoula City-County Relationship Violence Services (RVS) has received a three-year $450,000 grant to support direct services to victims of relationship and sexual violence, and to provide training for advocates, law enforcement offices, prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Office on Violence Against Women. The grant will run from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2020.
“Since November 2014 the MPD has enjoyed the many advantages of having an advocate co-located within our Detective Division, which has been supported by this funding,” Missoula Police Department Captain Mike Colyer said. “During investigations she helps keep victims engaged and updated. After the investigation her services continue for sensitive conversations like case declinations and stressful times such as trial prep and court proceedings. From a broader perspective, the position has helped build trust between the law enforcement and advocacy professions, which in turn builds other relationships outside of this specific position.”
The grant supports RVS and program partners St. Patrick Hospital’s First Step Resource Center, Missoula Police Department, and the Missoula YWCA in their work delivering high-quality advocacy services and forensic nursing exams for survivors of sexual and relationship violence. The grant also funds ongoing training for criminal justice system professionals, medical providers, and community members to improve services to survivors of relationship and sexual violence.
Missoula City-County Relationship Violence Services works to eliminate relationship violence and sexual violence through individual victim advocacy, system advocacy, program development, community partnerships, and public education. The department includes four programs:
1) The Crime Victim Advocate Program provides direct services to victims of sexual and relationship violence and abuse through criminal justice advocacy and civil justice advocacy;
2) JUST Response (Justice System Team Response) coordinates the criminal justice and community system’s response to these crimes;
3) Healthy Relationships Project promotes sexual and relationship violence prevention through community education and social marketing; and
4) Rural RVS Program provides a comprehensive response to relationship and sexual violence in rural communities in Missoula County and Mineral County. Relationship Violence Services supports a holistic, victim-centered response to sexual and relationship violence in Missoula through collaboration, partnership, and resource sharing