Domestic Violence Investigations (DVI)
The Billings Police Department has one Domestic Violence Investigator (DVI), an officer who works in collaboration with the City Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit. The DVI’s job duties include expanding and enhancing investigations into domestic violence-related crimes that occurred in the City of Billings. While the DVI’s focus is on misdemeanor crimes prosecuted by the Billings City Attorney’s Office, investigations often extend to felony offenses handled at the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office.
The DVI is tasked with following up on investigations from the Billings PD Patrol Division. The DVI commonly investigates offenses like Partner or Family Member Assault, Strangulation, and domestic-related Aggravated Assault or Assault with a Weapon. Domestic violence takes many forms and the DVI’s investigations have resulted in the prosecution of criminal offenses including Stalking, Protective Order and No Contact Order Violations, Theft, Criminal Defamation, Privacy in Communications (which includes revenge porn and threatening texts and/or voice messages), Witness Tampering*, and so on. (*If your abuser has asked you to change your story or pressured you not to participate in the criminal case, this also is a crime of domestic violence.)
For more information or resources on domestic violence, please call or visit:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
YWCA Billings - Gateway Shelter Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Hotline:
24-Hour Help Line: (406) 245-4472
24-Hour Text Line: (406) 702-0229
Domestic Violence FAQ’s
Q: Do I need a police report to get an order of protection (restraining order)?
A: No. If you have a police report, you can provide the report/case number on your petition (application), but filing a police report is not a required step in getting an order of protection.
For more information on obtaining an order of protection, please visit the City of Billings Municipal Court website. Orders of Protection are also available through Yellowstone County Justice Court.
Q: Can I report domestic violence-related crimes directly to the DVI or the City Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit?
A: No, domestic violence-related crimes require an immediate response by the Patrol Division. Please call 911 to file a report if you believe you have experienced or witnessed a crime, including a domestic violence-related crime.
Q: I am the victim of a domestic violence-related crime, like Partner or Family Member Assault—now what do I do?
A: You can contact the Billings City Attorney’s Office (misdemeanors committed in the City of Billings) or the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office (misdemeanors committed in the County and all felony offenses). Victim-Witness Specialists in those offices can answer questions and let you know what happens next.
Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office: 1(406) 256-2870
Billings City Attorney’s Office: 1(406) 657-8205
Q: I was the victim of a Partner or Family Member Assault (PFMA)--Can I drop the charges? Or can I drop the No Contact Order?
A: No. In a crime like Partner or Family Member Assault, the responding officers make an arrest decision based on probable cause, and the prosecutors make the charging determination. It is not your responsibility, as the listed victim, to pursue or to drop the charges. Similarly, a No Contact Order is an order from the judge to the defendant, and it cannot be obtained or dismissed by the victim. However, it is important for the prosecutors to hear from you, the victim. If you have concerns about the charging decision or questions about how a case is proceeding, please contact the City or County Attorney’s Office at the numbers listed above.
Q: Is domestic violence really a big deal?
A: Yes. Each year, the Billings PD responds to more than 600 non-aggravated Partner or Family Member Assaults alone, the highest number of offenses in the state. That number does not account for aggravated PFMAs and other domestic violence-related crimes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention had deemed intimate partner violence “a significant public health issue."
Not only does domestic or intimate partner violence impact an average of 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men, it also impacts the children in those violent homes. Children who are subject to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which includes witnessing domestic violence, may experience chronic life-long health conditions; may engage in risky behavior in childhood and later in life; and may have a lower life expectancy. (https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/aboutace.html)