October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst said there is a very close connection between Domestic Violence and homicide in Montana.

"Globally, one in three girls is assaulted by an intimate or family member over the course of their lifetime," Pabst said. "Interestingly in Montana, at least one third of our homicide are situations where the offender and the victim were in an intimate or family relationship."

Domestic violence has been on the rise in Missoula, with a bunch of new cases just this past week.

"Here in Missoula we have seen quite an increase in not just the number of partner family member assault cases but a rise in the severity," Pabst said. "So we're seeing more felonies, assault with a weapon and more aggravated assault. The County Attorney's Office saw six cases in the last week of partner family member assault or violence, five of those are felonies."

Pabst says that the community of Missoula must play a crucial part in solving the tragedy of domestic violence and encourages the public to call 911 if they suspect or see abuse.

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