- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Efforts to stop domestic violence and violence against women in the fast-growing Bakken oil patch are getting some federal help.

Officials unveiled about $1.4 million in funding on Monday for initiatives that will boost support efforts for victims of domestic violence in the region and also fund a prosecutor who will focus on cases involving domestic violence and violence against women.

Officials in the Bakken region have said they would like more federal help in fighting crime. The population of the area has exploded in recent years as the oil industry has grown, creating more crime and infrastructure issues.

“We need to adapt to the challenges that growth can bring,” said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. “That means investing in our law enforcement as well as our public and private community service providers.”

The funds announced Monday will do both. They include $606,000 for the North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services, which is based in Bismarck. The money will be used to focus on issues that domestic violence victims, police and medical staff and local service providers face in the Bakken region. More than $343,000 will go the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold to fund prevention and support programs.

Some $405,000 will help fund a prosecutor to handle cases involving violence against women. The funds will also be dedicated to improving communication between local law enforcement agencies on domestic violence issues.

North Dakota’s congressional delegation has been trying in recent months to bring more law enforcement funding to western North Dakota. Earlier this month, Hoeven held a roundtable with local law enforcement officials who are pushing for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration to open permanent outposts in western North Dakota.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., has used two events in Bismarck over the past week to talk about human trafficking, another issue that local officials say has arisen in western North Dakota.

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