Five Missoula agencies get federal money for domestic violence, victim services

Zoë Buchli

Several organizations in Missoula are slated to get another round of federal funds to strengthen services for domestic violence survivors.

“If we want to break cycles of violence, we have to provide services,” said Shantelle Gaynor, director of Missoula’s Community Justice Department. Gaynor oversees the Crime Victim Advocate Program, which is one of five Missoula agencies getting money this year from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).

The Missoula City Attorney’s Office, the Watson Children’s Shelter, the Missoula YWCA and Providence St. Patrick Hospital’s First Step Resource Center are also recipients.

Missoula’s Crime Victim Advocate Program will get $196,000, which Gaynor said covers the salaries of both the county’s civil and criminal advocate positions. Advocates help victims and survivors (and their families) navigate the legal system and find services. They also aid with facilitating reports to law enforcement, if a survivor chooses to do so, Gaynor said.

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Roughly 50% of advocates’ case loads deal with domestic violence, according to Gaynor. The other half includes sexual violence, stalking and harassment cases.

The Pathways Program at Missoula’s YWCA is set to receive $194,000. The dollars support staff costs,

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