Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Montana’s U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich told KGVO News that his office, as well as all law enforcement agencies, is asking Montanans to be aware of domestic violence situations in their families.
“Domestic Violence Awareness Month, something that Congress has designated in October for over 20 years for us and all of our law enforcement partners for that matter, to draw attention to what affects far too many of us,” said Laslovich. “In some of the cases we’ve discussed with you that our office has prosecuted, many of them touch on domestic violence situations, not just wanting to draw attention to it, but even more importantly, actually hold people accountable who are committing that crime.”
Laslovich said Law Enforcement takes Domestic Violence Seriously
Laslovich said domestic violence is very difficult to prove for a number of reasons, not the least of which is fear of reprisal by the suspect.
“There are a multitude of factors that the law enforcement officer will look to in particular, when trying to decide who’s telling the truth, right?,” he asked. “Sometimes both of them can be doing so, and that’s why it’s so important if there are witnesses to talk to those witnesses who were in the house and then looking to any kind of bruising or scratches or marks on one’s body that they’re able to piece things together quite well based on the stories that are being told.”
Laslovich says men as well as women are Domestic Violence Victims
Looking beyond the borders of Montana, Laslovich provided some alarming statistics on the issue of domestic violence against both women and men.
“This is on a national scale,” he said. “We estimate that one in four women and one in seven men experience severe physical violence from intimate partners during their lifetime. That’s astounding to me. And so, when those instances are observed or witnessed by others, then it’s their duty to speak up and I hope people continue to do so without hesitation.”
More Alarming Domestic Violence Statistics in Montana
According to the website domestic violence dot org Montana, ‘An alarming 37.2 percent of women and 34.6 percent of men in Montana have experienced physical, sexual or stalking abuse from an intimate partner in their lifetimes, with evidence indicating that this statistic is vastly underestimated.’
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