GALLATIN COUNTY — HAVEN, a non-profit that serves domestic violence survivors in Gallatin County, has continually seen an increase in the survivors its serves over the past five years, and this past year was no different.
“We see an increase as a positive thing. We believe that people are out there and maybe need support and are finding out about Haven and calling us for the first time,” Executive Director Erica Coyle said.
One in five people experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime; that’s roughly 20,000 people in Gallatin County.
HAVEN helped a handful more survivors this past year than it did the year prior, but in that year there was a 14 percent increase.
“Last fiscal year we were seeing over 12 calls a day, so that phone was ringing over a dozen times with people seeking support and resources here in our community,” Coyle said.
As domestic violence cases have increased in our community over the past few years, the resources have expanded as well. Our society wants things quick and on the internet, and there’s actually domestic violence help on the internet as well.
“We are HER is a nonprofit that helps survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault. We help them by sharing their story, connecting them with other survivors and providing them with educational information so they can start healing after trauma,” We Are Her Founder Stevie Croisant said.
The online resource helps survivors across the world, but Croisant says it's helping several survivors in the Bozeman community, just like herself.
The anonymous platform is exactly what some survivors need.
“A thing like We are HER that’s online, I don’t need to know anything about you except for if your Instagram handle, if that’s how you reach out, or your email; I don’t need to know anything else about you so it really takes away that stigma which is a barrier for a lot of survivors reaching out initially,” Croisant said.
Coyle said the population increase could be a factor in the growing number of survivors HAVEN is serving.