By Abbie Digel
Like other rural Montana towns, Big
Sky is isolated from services and the
access to care that larger towns have.
“While Big Sky’s resources are limited,
the community’s problems often
mirror those found in larger communities,”
said Stasia Owen, a local Big
Sky Counselor from the MSU Human
An incident of domestic assault
occurred on February 18 within a
local Big Sky family, causing distress
and concern to the family and
other Big Sky residents. The family
has relocated since. When such
incidents occur in Big Sky and the
surrounding canyon, they should
not be ignored. There are resources
available to help.
Immediate resources available to
victims in Big Sky are police, doctors,
teachers, school counselors, pastors
and counselors in the community.
“Each of these sources of support
continually works to offer better and
more extensive services to the Big
Sky population,” said Owen, who is a
graduate counseling student and offers
her services weekly in Big Sky.
Sergeant Matt Daugherty, of the
Gallatin County Sheriff’s Department,
said this “has been the busiest
winter ever” for Gallatin County
Police. Along with the February incident,
Daugherty deals with DUIs and
other violent crimes. He said, in the
most urgent of situations calling 911
is always the most effective form of
There are various services based in
Bozeman that reach out to Big Sky.
Packets and information with contact
information are available in the Sheriff’s
office, located in the Town Center
next to the fire department. At the
local Big Sky Sheriff’s office, victims
can apply for an Order of Protection,
or a restraining order. When obtaining
an Order of Protection, a victim
can request the assistance of a Legal
Advocate through The Network
Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse.
A legal advocate can attend a client’s
hearing, provide emotional support,
and refer clients to attorneys. Their
number is 582-2038.
Information on the Victim Assistance
Program, a resource, service and
advocate for the rights of victims
and witnesses, is also available at the
Big Sky Sheriff’s office. Their phone
numbers are 582-2075 or 582-2076.
Visit gallatin.mt.gov and click
“Service Directory,” then “Victim
Services” for a full list of phone numbers
and services offered through the
Women in Action, Big Sky’s nonprofit
dedicated to enriching the lives
of children and families, has recently
partnered with MSU’s Human Development
Clinic to expand counseling
services in Big Sky. This newly
expanded service is available to adults,
adolescents, children, couples and
families of Big Sky at a low-cost. The
services are provided at a discrete location
and confidentiality is assured. The counseling is one of the avenues
of support for those affected by domestic
violence in our community,
said Owen. Call (406) 570-3907 to
make an appointment.
Kasey Anderson, Ophir School
District’s guidance counselor, has
been working additional hours at the
school as a confidential resource for
students and their families. Email her
at email@example.com or call
her office (406) 995-4281 ext. 221.
Other resources in Gallatin County
are havenmt.org (406) 586-4111, an
organization that provides emergency
shelter and support, and bozemanhelpcenter.
org, a 24-hour emergency
hotline and walk-in counseling
center in Bozeman.