Senator Max Baucus was in Missoula Tuesday for a round table meeting with community leaders, domestic violence outreach specialists, and members of local law enforcement to discuss domestic violence and victim support.
Baucus recently voted to extend the Violence against Women Act, a 1994 law that brings $4 million to programs in Montana.
Police Chief Mark Muir told the Baucus that reporting on domestic violence and rape in Missoula is up, and so are related arrests, but he and other local leaders said they believe it's a sign of progress and growing awareness by victims of domestic assault.
Leaders at the meeting said the goal for many non-profits who benefit from money from the Violence Against Women Act is to educate victims about their options and resources.
YWCA Spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrison said the non-profits were excited to have Baucus visit.
"The senator seems very engaged, and very interested in women and families and how they're affected by domestic violence, and in what he can do to help,” said Harrison.
Since it cleared the U.S. Senate on February 12, the Violence against Women Act extension bill now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.
A reauthorization of the law failed in congress last year.