County proclaims October ‘Domestic Violence Awareness Month’

Cali O’Hare photo Dezi Saathoff, violence prevention coordinator with the Sublette County Sexual Assault and Family Violence Task Force, reads the proclamation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the Oct. 4 county commissioners’ meeting.

Local resources available

SUBLETTE COUNTY — The Board of Sublette County Commissioners took a zero-tolerance stance on domestic violence by proclaiming October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Chairman Joel Bousman affixed his signature to the document, presented by Dezi Saathoff, violence prevention coordinator with the Sublette County Sexual Assault and Family Violence (SAFV) Task Force, at the Oct. 4 meeting.

The proclamation notes that one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, which can include physical, emotional, sexual and psychological forms of abuse.

At the local level, SAFV served 42 clients in the 2021-22 fiscal year, including one male, plus 57 children. 

Now a quarter of the way through the current fiscal year, SAFV has helped 28 clients, including one male, plus 41 youth, and has provided 76 nights of shelter.

If the current trend of 28 clients per quarter continues, SAFV is on track to more than double its client numbers from the previous fiscal year.

Mandy Moffat, executive director of SAFV, emphasized to the Pinedale Roundup that the organization’s statistics do not accurately depict the presence of domestic violence across the entire county because some victims and survivors approach the agency for assistance but don’t make a report to law enforcement, while others only go to law enforcement and some don’t report or seek assistance from any agency.

Local resources, including an ADA-accessible emergency shelter, legal and medical advocacy, help filling out protection orders and emotional support, are available in Sublette County. Anyone who has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking is eligible for services through SAFV regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, age, physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship or sources of financial support. Services are provided without cost to the individual.

SAFV has offices in Pinedale at 235 N. Sublette Ave. and in Big Piney at 415 Budd Ave.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence and seeking immediate assistance call the 24-hour line where trained advocates are ready to help at 1-888-301-4435.

Visit sublettesafv.org for more information and tips on how to stay safe if you need to leave an abusive situation.

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