McGrath Honors Huffman for Advocacy Work
HELENA – Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath honored outstanding crime victims’ advocate Connie Huffman in a ceremony today at Norley Hall in Conrad.
Huffman is the director of the Hi-Line’s Help for Abused Spouses program. She has worked in the victim advocacy field for more than 25 years, and has developed a non-profit domestic violence program that covers Pondera, Toole, Teton, Glacier, Liberty and Chouteau counties.
McGrath said Huffman first ran the program out of an office in her barn. The program has grown to include four offices, a library of resources for domestic violence victims and their advocates and storage areas for items donated to the program.
Letters supporting Huffman’s nomination for the award noted that there were times over the last 25 years when Huffman was the lone advocate for victims spread across the expansive six-county area.
“This is program has helped thousands of people across a lot of miles,” McGrath said. “Connie’s determination and dedication are exceptional.”
Lynne Turville, Mercy Home coordinator in Great Falls, wrote that Huffman is “available any time of the day or night to respond to victims’ needs anywhere in a six-county area.
“Connie has been providing services and support to victims of domestic violence for over 25 years,” Turville wrote. “This is often a thankless and sometimes dangerous task. She has worked tirelessly to bring Hi-Line’s Help out of her barn into a welcoming office in Conrad.”
Mikie Baker-Hajek, Executive Director of Victim Witness Assistance Services in Great Falls and Cascade County, called Huffman an “unsung hero.”
Huffman’s award is the last of three to be presented this year. Each year the Attorney General’s Office honors outstanding victim advocates. Nominees were evaluated based on their specific efforts on behalf of crime victims; length of service in the field; their role in relation to a victim service program and outstanding efforts on behalf of victims. Earlier this month, McGrath honored Leslie McClintock of Missoula and Capital High’s Link Crew and advisor Kelley Morand.