BOZEMAN - Domestic Violence in Gallatin County - One in five people in Montana will experience domestic abuse in their life, equating to 200,000 people in that state and 24,000 people in Gallatin County.
Last month, was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and to bring awareness, Haven and the Women’s Voice Center at MSU held a public meeting surrounding a growing crisis of gun and intimate partner violence.
“We know that in Montana, three out of four intimate partner violence homicides will be caused by the use of a gun,” Erica Coyle said.
Erica Coyle is the Executive Director of Haven, and speaks of the importance of community awareness and action.
“This is absolutely a serious issue that is happening locally, and we would love to get the entire community involved in ending it,” Coyle said.
See something, say something, is a popular phrase used to encourage people to report crimes, but this may prove hard when it comes to domestic violence.
A way to help is by taking note of family and friends’ relationships, that appear to have physical altercations, dehumanizing implications, and potentially sexist language, Julia Webber said.
Julia Webber is the Implementation Director at Giffords Law Center and notes that guns can be used not only as an act of violence but as a threat and manipulation.
The thought of a gun being present in the home could be enough to control someone, Webber said.
“I’m a tough woman, I am strong and I state my opinions and I’m not afraid of them. But I never thought that someone would abuse me because of them,” Kassie said.
Kassie is a survivor of Domestic Abuse, and though was never had a gun pulled on her, she had the idea of it used as a threat and form of manipulation.
NOTE: This is part 1 of a 2-part story - tomorrow, Holly Brantley will take a deep dive into Kassie's story of surviving domestic violence.