Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst will be presenting special Domestic Violence Professionals Awards on Friday as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Pabst spoke to KGVO News about the awards and the reasons behind them.

“October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in honor of that and to highlight the severity of interpersonal violence in our community, we are hosting an award ceremony to let people know and remind people how severe of an issue this is that we're facing,” said Pabst.

She emphasized the complexity and difficulty involved in investigating domestic violence cases.

“The prevalence of domestic violence is overwhelming, and it has such a huge impact on the criminal justice system,” she said. “So we are recognizing some of the valiant efforts of the dedicated people in this community who are working towards responding to domestic violence in an appropriate and trauma informed way.”

Pabst explained how the winners of the awards were determined.

“All of our community partners got together and nominated individuals that were had really gone above and beyond in this particular area and those nominations went through a committee and they will the winners will be announced on Friday,” she said.

Pabst said the challenging nature of domestic violence crimes requires more intense investigation and prosecution.

“More than half of the violent crimes that we respond to involve interpersonal violence,” she said. “The folks that work in that area tend to specialize and tend to have a real passion for helping victims of domestic violence. These cases are difficult. They're more challenging emotionally. They're more challenging from an investigative standpoint, and they're really hard to prosecute, and that’s why these people get special training. They specialize in this area, they become experts, if you will, and we just want to support them in every way that we can because they're doing a really, really difficult job and they're doing it well.”

The ceremony will be held at noon on Friday inside the Sophie Moiese Room at the Missoula County Courthouse.


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