(STL.News) – Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced today he’s seeking nominations for his agency’s annual Matthew Dale Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award. Any Montanan working with crime victims is eligible, including law enforcement personnel, domestic violence advocates, shelter staff, probation and parole officers, first responders, SANE nurses, judges, attorneys, and volunteers.
The call for nominations coincides with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), April 19-25, which celebrates the progress made by survivors of crime and highlights the efforts of individuals across the country who work toward making victim services accessible for all. “During this time of quarantine, the concerns about an increase in domestic violence are obvious — anxiety over job loss and financial uncertainty, isolation from the outside world, and confinement for extended periods of time,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “But law enforcement, advocates, judges, and countless dedicated others are putting their health at risk to assist these victims, because the need to help isn’t going away. Now more than ever, we want to recognize and honor these often unsung heroes,” Fox added.
Since 1993, the Outstanding Crime Victim Advocate Award has been coordinated by the Attorney General’s Office of Victim Services. The award is named in memory of Matt Dale, who directed the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection and Victim Services for 17 years. Through Matt’s leadership, Montana instituted policies and programs to protect victims of domestic violence and prevent intimate partner homicides, including those in Indian Country. Over the course of his career, Matt became a national expert on the topic of domestic violence and traveled across the country speaking about Montana’s Fatality Review Commission, its Native American Fatality Review Team, and the work done by both groups. The award was named in Matt’s honor after his death in 2018.