Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, in conjunction with National Crime Victim’s Rights Week, held open forums in five different Montana cities to give people the opportunity to talk about their experience as a crime victim in the Montana justice system.

“We learned a lot and it was very interesting,” said Fox. “As you might imagine, a lot of victims of crime had to be very courageous to talk about some pretty horrific things that happened to them in their personal lives. Then talk about that in the context of what happened after someone was charged with a crime and how did the system essentially treat these survivors.”

During the process, Fox said the most important thing they learned is that the Montana justice system needs to improve its communication with victims of crime.

“When you are a victim of even a theft crime, and I have been a victim of a theft crime, there is a very dirty feeling you have that you have been violated,” Fox said. “We don’t want to make a distinction between say a victim of an assault or sexual assault and a victim of a theft crime for instance. They all have rights and they all have feelings and we need to make sure we are taking care of all of those folks.”

Fox says the next step is to discuss what they learned and how they should go about applying some changes that will improve the problems across the state.