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Wyoming Domestic Violence Snapshot: 349 Calls for Help in a Day

January 31, 2008

Gillette, WY – A new snapshot of domestic violence in Wyoming from the National Census of Domestic Violence Services shows programs that help victims are often overwhelmed. Domestic violence help requests were tracked statewide for one day last September and in 24 hours, 349 victims asked for help, and 61 couldn't be helped right away because of lack of staffing and funds. Donna Howard with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault says even the state's oil and gas boom affects whether a victim can get emergency shelter.

"There are hotels which provide rooms at a reduced cost, but those rooms are now occupied by workers."

Howard says many victim programs in Wyoming have just two staffers and counseling, legal services and emergency shelter are among the top requests. The report says recent federal funding cuts have meant fewer services in Wyoming.

Howard says they usually find a way to help everyone who asks, but time is of the essence in many cases where women are closely controlled by an abuser.

"For a victim, the time when she can come in and get help developing a safety plan and figuring out what resources are available is extremely limited."

The full report is available online at www.nnedv.org.

Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Public News Service - WY