• Print Print
  • Share
  • Text Size: A | A | A
First Step Resource Center

Abuse and Sexual Assault

First STEP Resource Center coordinates a children’s advocacy center and adult sexual assault response team in Missoula. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing trauma and promoting healing for child victims of abuse and adult victims of sexual assault. In addition to coordination, we provide:

  • Medical evaluations – including comprehensive medical care and evidence collection – are available 24 hours a day
  • Forensic interviews – a structured conversation with a child to explore the possibility that the child witnessed or experienced abuse. These interviews may be used for investigative purposes
  • Mental health treatment and/or referrals for victims and their families
  • Family support services including but not limited to – emotional support, education, information, and referrals to community agencies

Who we serve

We serve children, families and adults in Missoula and surrounding counties. Since 2000, First Step has served approximately 3,000 clients. About 80% of the clients served are children. Services are free to the client, with the costs for services paid by law enforcement, child protective services, insurance companies and other state programs.

Our approach

First Step works as part of a team with local agencies, law enforcement, social workers and emergency departments to respond to child victims of abuse and adult victims of sexual assault. This team approach ensures an effective, coordinated and consistent delivery of services to child abuse victims, their families and adult survivors of sexual assault. Coordination puts the child or adult victim at the center of the response effort and reduces trauma. The collaborative response results in stronger investigations and convictions. It also allows for better supportive services for families, including mental health, medical care and advocacy. 

Our mission

First STEP Resource Center is a Children’s Advocacy Center serving children, families and adults. First STEP coordinates with medical and mental health providers, social service professionals, advocates and law enforcement and prosecution officials. This multidisciplinary team investigates and prosecutes and provides assessment, treatment, education and prevention. The founding principles are to seek truth, to reduce trauma and to promote healing for child victims of abuse, neglect and endangerment, child witnesses to violence and adult victims of sexual assault.

Our vision

The vision of First STEP is for children, families and adults to live in a safe and nurturing community, free of violence

If you suspect child abuse, you should:

  • Call 911 for emergencies
  • Call Child and Family Services Centralized Intake at (866) 820-5437 to make a report
  • Call the First Step Resource Center at (406) 329-5776 to make a referral or for more information

If you are an adolescent or an adult who has been sexually assaulted, you may choose to:

  • Go to a safe place
  • Call the YWCA at (406) 542-1944 if you would like support or are unsure of what to do
  • Go to the Emergency Department or call First Step Resource Center at (406) 329-5776, 24 hours a day if you would like medical attention
  • Call 911 if you would like to report to law enforcement