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Domestic Violence Task Force trains personnel on dealing with strangulation cases

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Posted at 8:30 AM, Jun 06, 2024

GREAT FALLS — The newly formed Cascade County Domestic Violence Task Force held a training course Wednesday afternoon for law enforcement and medical professionals for protocols involved in building strangulation cases.

In November of last year, Probation Parole Officer Cory Purves started the Cascade County Domestic Violence Task Force dedicated to battling the amount of rising domestic violence cases, as well as being a resource for the public.

Purves explains, “People are going to see us out in the community a lot. We're going to be doing a lot of education programs. We're going to be doing a lot of workshops within the community. And we just want to get our name out there and we want to have a safe place for victims, can come and talk to us. I'm concerned about the community. I love my community. I want to protect my community and anything I can do to be a part of that, I want to be a part of that.”

The Task Force led a training course on building cases on strangulation, where members of law enforcement, medical personnel, and attorneys learned about topics like signs and symptoms of strangulation, as well as investigation and prosecution protocol for those cases.

The goal of the training was to learn how to better the systems within their agencies and what can be done in their respective departments to aid in building strangulation cases.

Guest speakers included Domestic Violence Detective Nathan Griesse from the Missoula Police Department and First Step Resource Center RN and forensic interviewer Cat Otway.

Both Otway and Greisse belong to the Alliance for HOPE’s Training Institute for Strangulation Prevention.

In 2017 Montana passed a law making strangulation a felony offense against a partner or family member. Cascade County has seen a considerable amount of strangulation cases in recent years, Purves says he sees around three to four strangulation cases a month in the parole office.

He says, “If you see thumbprints or something like that on the side of a neck, say something. A lot of victims are hesitant about going forth and opening up because they're scared for their life.”

Click here for more information on the Training Institute for Strangulation Prevention