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One Day in MT: 230 Domestic Violence Victims Ask for Help

January 31, 2008

Helena, MT – A snapshot of domestic violence in Montana shows on a typical day, 230 ask for help, and 129 don't get the help they need right away.

Cheryl O'Donnell is with the National Network to End Domestic Violence, which tallied the work of domestic violence agencies.

"Many of them are short-staffed, or they have limited funding to provide the services that are being requested."

Last September, agencies tracked calls to help centers over a 24-hour period. According to O'Donnell, 99 domestic violence victims were given emergency housing in Montana. She notes those services, like housing and legal help, are among the most expensive and are in high demand.

Despite the numbers, O'Donnell urges women, and men, in dangerous situations to still contact local shelters and agencies for help. She adds that even if local resources can't be tapped, something will be done to keep families safe.

"On average, the advocates spend almost an hour helping individuals find other outlets for resources."

The full report, "National Census of Domestic Violence Services," is at www.nnedv.org.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - MT