BOZEMAN – The Bozeman Police Department saw an uptick in calls in 2018. One of the major increases were calls for domestic violence.
The department saw nearly 100 more calls for domestic disturbances in 2018 than 2017.
“We respond to a number of them. We are looking kind of what are the underlying factors with that, if it’s just the growth we are experiencing or if there’s something else there,” Bozeman Police Chief Steve Crawford said.
Along with the police department, Bozeman non-profit HAVEN, which provides services and advocacy for domestic violence survivors, saw a 14% increase in the number of survivors it assisted.
That’s 1,116 people.
“We think that there are three different reasons that this could be happening,” said HAVEN Executive Director Erica Coyle.
She explained, “One is obviously our community is growing at a very rapid pace, so we can expect all crime will go up, unfortunately. Two is that more and more people are talking about this issue. The stigma around having experienced domestic violence is hopefully slightly decreasing and more people are feeling comfortable about reaching out for support; and then the third is, unfortunately, we know that there have been a high number of homicides in the Bozeman area in the past three years, and every time that happens we have learned to expect an increase in the number of calls to our support line.”
The numbers could correlate, or the two organizations could be seeing different people.
“But we know when we compare our numbers of survivors served compared to law enforcement numbers, a lot of cases don’t make it all the way to law enforcement,” Coyle said.
The 24-hour support line for HAVEN is 406-586-4111.
Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News