Relationship Violence

It’s Not OK and It’s Against the Law – Free and Confidential Assistance

A person who exhibits violent behavior in a relationship often:

  • Has an explosive temper
  • Is possessive or jealous of their partner’s time
  • Constantly criticizes their partner’s thoughts, feelings, or appearance
  • Pinches, slaps, grabs, shoves, bites or throws things at their partner
  • Coerces or intimidates their partner into having sex
  • Blames their partner for their own anger
  • Causes their partner to be afraid
  • Abuses family pets
  • Destroys things that are important to their partner, friends, or family

A person in a violent relationship often is:

  • Afraid of their partner’s temper
  • Afraid to break up because their partner has threatened to hurt themselves or others
  • Constantly defending or apologizing for their partner’s behavior
  • Afraid to disagree with their partner
  • Isolated from family and friends
  • Intimidated by their partner and coerced into having sex

What does Montana law say about domestic abuse?

It is against the law to cause bodily harm to a partner or family member. It is even unlawful to cause reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. What this means is if you are being hit, and /or being threatened with harm, your partner is breaking the law!

Remember, no matter who you are, no matter what you do or don’t do, you never deserve to be physically or mentally abused

If you are in a violent relationship, there are options

What you need to take with you when you leave:

  • Identification, driver’s license
  • Birth certificates
  • Money, bankbooks, checkbooks
  • Lease, rental agreement, house deed
  • Insurance papers
  • House and car keys
  • Medications
  • Small saleable items
  • Address book and photos
  • Clothing (yours & children)
  • Medical records (yours & children)
  • Social Security cards
  • Welfare identification
  • School records
  • Work permits, green cards, passports
  • Divorce & custody documents
  • Jewelry
  • Children’s small toys, special blanket, and favorite books

What to do if someone you know is being abused:

  • Remind them that the abuse is not and never will be their fault
  • Develop a code for calling the police in case things get out of hand
  • Do not put yourself at risk. Helping also means keeping yourself safe
  • Encourage victims to call 442-6800 or 1-800-248-3166
  • Be with them as they make the call
  • Take them to visit the shelter in their area
  • Listen, and keep listening, even if you have “heard it a thousand times.”
  • Each time a victim describes her abuse she is making herself stronger
  • Be patient. Victims leave and return to abusive relationships an average of seven times before they leave for good.