Dianne Barker Harrold, Cherokee Nation Tribal Council attorney, has been honored with a 2013 National Crime Victim Service Award, according to a media release.
For seven years Barker Harrold was stalked and living in an abusive relationship, but that experience empowered her to become an attorney and dedicate 30 years advocating for battered women and crime victims.
Her career included prosecuting abusers, founding a women’s shelter, acting as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice and speaking to tribes across the country on victim advocacy.
Barker Harrold received the honor Wednesday from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, D.C. Last year’s winners included Hollywood actor Mickey Rooney.
“This is definitely a humbling experience for me because I know there are advocates all over Indian Country that do great work, and I share that honor with all of them,” Barker Harrold said. “Working with crime and domestic abuse victims has always been a passion of mine since I was also a victim of domestic violence in the 1970s.”
Barker Harrold, a native of Stilwell, spent eight years as a district attorney for Adair, Cherokee, Sequoyah and Wagoner counties and was twice selected as Oklahoma’s Outstanding District Attorney. She was one of the founding mothers of Help-in-Crisis in Tahlequah, which is now in its 33rd year sheltering abuse victims. She is also employed by Unified Solutions Tribal Community Development Group in Tempe, Ariz., as a resource delivery coordinator and provides training and technical assistance to U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime grantees.
Barker Harrold lives in Tahlequah with her husband, Dale, a semi-retired police officer. The couple has three daughters, 11 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.