GREAT FALLS — Hundreds of purple foam butterflies on wooden stakes were piled on a table at the Young Women's Christian Association in Great Falls on Monday. They'll soon be displayed outside, representing people seeking shelter from domestic violence.
"The numbers are actually not dwindling,” said Barbara Van Drake, Great Falls YWCA Americorps volunteer about cases of violence nationwide. October 18-24 is observed as "Week Without Violence" for YWCA organizations across the nation.
"Some resources are saying as high as one in three women now will experience intimate partner or family member violence,” Van Drake said.
The Great Falls chapter is promoting the week and Van Drake said the increasing cases of violence, including around 550 in Cascade County in 2019, make it all the more important.
"It really kind of is a litmus test for what we're doing as an organization and what we're doing as a community to make sure resources are available and that people are aware of them so they can get help or make a difference however they can,” Van Drake emphasized.
If you or someone you know is in an unsafe relationship or family environment and need help, call the Great Falls YWCA’s 24-hour hotline at 406-452-2067 or call 800-352-7449.