Fall 2022 MBCC Program Highlights Recipients

Montana Board of Crime Control

The Montana Board of Crime Control is pleased to announce the recipient of the fall 2022 program highlights:

Hi-Line Help for Abused Spouses, Inc.

Logo of Hi-Line's Help for Abused Spouses

The goal of Hi-Line’s Spouse Abuse Assistance is to provide each victim with a resource, a safe place, and emergency and ongoing support and advocacy so they can live a life free of violence and fear.

Originally called Triangle Transition, Hi-Line’s Help for Abused Spouses, Inc. was founded by Loy Chvilicek. Loy saw her friends and neighbors being abused on the Hi-Line and when she realized they had no help or where to go she felt it was her ministry. This early program was instrumental in the founding of the Havre shelter and was the basis for many other programs in Montana. The intent of the program was to move the Hi-Line down and include counties and develop services to educate volunteers and the public about the seriousness of domestic violence in our rural farming communities.

Hi-Line’s Help strives to reduce violent crime by educating communities and breaking the cycle of violence. The organization helps victims of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking exit their violent situations by providing emergency transportation, safe homes, and emergency financial assistance, by helping to obtain protective orders, and by providing emotional support and advocacy with trained provides staff and volunteers with what is essential to breaking the cycle and reducing violent crime. Hi-Line educates the community, professionals, schools, healthcare providers and other human and community service providers about the dynamics of abuse with its multimedia approach using radio, Facebook, brochures, posters and videos. Creating a wider awareness of the signs of abuse and safety plans is critical to promoting victim safety and the services provided by Hi-Line’s Help’s trained attorneys have been critical to promoting current and future victim safety.

Employees of Hi-Line's Abused Spouse Assistance at the September 2022 board meeting at the Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton, MT

Hi-Line’s Help has contracted with a Licensed Clinical Vocational Counselor, Licensed Addiction Counselor, for the past 4 years to provide adult and youth victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and substance abuse, trauma and mental health stalking. She travels to Hi-Line’s Help office every two months to offer advice and support to victims who are referred to her by the program’s advocate. She was instrumental in providing services that victims could not otherwise receive due to cost and travel restrictions.

Hi-Line’s help includes several ways to increase efforts and awareness to fight the stalking epidemic. The employees continuously expand their critical knowledge about stalking through training courses, webinars and extensive research. Staff and project partners have developed multimedia campaigns consisting of newspaper articles, public service announcements, social media and videos to educate the public. Educational presentations are offered to schools, community members and other service providers.

In addition, Hi-Line’s Help offers an online training course and in-service training for employees and volunteers on the dynamics of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Staff and volunteers receive extensive training on protective orders, security planning and how to communicate with victims in crises by phone and face-to-face. They review and discuss bylaws and are required to attend training courses that provide updated information. All participants must complete the course before they can work with child, youth, and adult victims. Hi-Line’s Executive Director, project partners and staff continue to research proven training materials and seek trainers with expertise to help children, youth and adults who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.

Hi-Line's Help for Abused Spouses staff will accept the Certificate of Outstanding Program award at the September 2022 board meeting at the Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton, MT

The program is highly replicable in other jurisdictions and Hi-Line’s Help believes there is a need to replicate victim service outreach programs in areas where shelters are the only service offered to victims. Often an area of ​​only protection leaves victims to find their own way through court documents, support, and outreach services, and that leaves them lost.

As the oldest program in Montana and due to its longevity, the most significant achievement of Hi-Line’s Abusive Spouse Assistance has been the growth of the program since its inception. Hi-Line’s Help has grown from one woman’s desire to help her neighbors, to an office in a barn, to a five-office program employing six attorneys and covering six counties. Hi-Line’s Help has helped thousands of victims of violence since 1976.

For more information on Hi-Line’s help for abused spouses, visit https://www.hlhas.com/.



About Ellen Lewandowski

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