Cherokee Nation Employees Receive Scholarship to Conference on Crimes Against Women

Cherokee Nation Marshal Service Community Resource Investigator Shawnna Roach, left, and Behavioral Health Special Projects Officer Tonya Boone discuss the Conference on Crimes Against Women.

Published April 11, 2018

TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service and Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health are working to improve the identification, investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, and a scholarship is providing both agencies with a unique training opportunity.

Community Resource Investigator Shawnna Roach and Behavioral Health Special Projects Officer Tonya Boone are attending the 13th annual Conference on Crimes Against Womenon April 16-19 in Dallas. The event features workshops, computer labs, case studies and nationally renowned experts such as John Douglas, an FBI special agent widely recognized as the top authority on criminal profiling. Douglas is the author of “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit,” which was loosely adapted into the Netflix true crime drama “Mindhunter.”

“This conference provides important training and will assist law enforcement at the Cherokee Nation in several ways,” Roach said. “It will give us more insight into sexual assault crimes and how we as a tribe can improve our statutes to assist with the prosecutorial and judicial aspects of an investigation.”

The Conference on Crimes Against Women is presented by the Dallas Police Department and the Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support. Classes promote strategies for improving public safety and supporting victims of crime across the nation.

Curriculum for the conference focuses exclusively on women and girls who come from all ethnicities, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds, specifically addressing the indigent, citizens of tribal nations, minorities, the disabled and those who face other unique barriers to safety and self-sufficiency.

“I have attended this training in the past, and it is one of the best trainings available,” said Boone, who is also the project coordinator for Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health’s Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative grant. “I’m excited to attend so that I can return to the Cherokee Nation to work with others on improving our policies, practices, strategies and collaborative responses to crimes against women.”

People who are exposed to violence have an increased risk of trauma that impacts their personal and professional lives. Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health provides specialized services to victims of violence, including evidence-based treatment services for victims and their families. The department also advocates for system-wide screening in the health system to assist at identifying and referring patients to victims services. Through grant funding from Indian Health Service, the department collaborates with internal and external agencies to provide services for victims and their families.

The Cherokee Nation offers several programs to reduce the number of domestic abuse incidents in Indian Country. These programs are offered through the Charles L. Head ONE FIRE Victim Services Office and provide help to Cherokee victims while counseling the aggressors and informing the public. Cherokee Nation’s transitional housing program helps victims with housing rental expenses, relocation expenses and legal fees to ensure safety.

Learn more about the Conference on Crimes Against Women by visiting


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