A Montana-based nonprofit, Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS) serves Carbon and Stillwater counties, offering a range of services for individuals and families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
The survivors we serve come from a variety of backgrounds and the help we offer is provided without regard to gender, ethnicity, income, age, ability, religion or sexual orientation. It’s all free and 100 percent confidential. While many of our clients are referred to us through the criminal justice system, filing charges against an abuser or perpetrator is not a prerequisite for our services.
Our work was started in 1999, by Mitzi Vorachek, a Red Lodge woman who simply recognized a need in her community. With more than 25 years of leadership in domestic violence prevention and intervention, she provided a foundation for the development of DSVS as it is today. Her experience included developing curriculum and training programs for law enforcement, schools, and medical communities as well as conducting domestic violence research. She also trained countless domestic violence advocates and managed a rape crisis hotline in a major U.S. city. In her time at DSVS, she took on several roles, including Executive Director, and retired in 2013. Mitzi remains an active supporter of DSVS.
Early on, Mitzi was joined by Dr. Allison Smith-Estelle, PhD, who had extensive experience in domestic and sexual violence intervention both in the U.S. and abroad. With a background in advocacy for survivors of violence as well as curriculum development and training for advocates, Allison served as DSVS’s first program director. Allison later served as the Executive Director and is the primary author of Power Up, Speak Out!, a school-based program that teaches the basics of healthy relationships to middle schoolers.
Kelly Heaton joined the staff in 2011 as Director of Operations. Mentored by Mitzi, Kelly moved into the position of Executive Director in 2013 and has helped to expand and improve services and increase funding. In 2018, DSVS achieved a longtime goal with the opening of an office in Columbus to serve clients in Stillwater County. Prior to the opening of the Stillwater office, DSVS advocates had to travel to Columbus to meet with clients or clients had to travel to Red Lodge for services.
Since its founding, DSVS has helped hundreds of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking through direct services, therapy, and temporary housing support. We operate a 24-hour a day helpline, Power Up, Speak Out!, and a communitywide mentoring program. We do this important work with a small staff, and the help of an engaged and diverse board of directors and dedicated, selfless volunteers.
The critical work we do is powered by donations from people from all walks of life who believe like we do, that everyone deserves healthy relationships. If you want to make a difference, donate today.
Total Survivors Served
Survivors Served in 2018
Our Board Members
Randy Dragon, MS,
Robert Leaverton, MDiv
Jack Exley, MD
Immediate Past Chair
Lea Hegge, MPH
Maryvette Labrie, AS
Jacque Papez, J.D.