Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter used Domestic Violence Awareness Month as a platform Thursday to honor a member of the District 27 staff as Domestic Violence Investigator of the Year.
“Stephanie Stephens has worked tirelessly for the people of District 27,” said District Attorney Jack Thorp, who was present when his investigator’s name was announced during the awards ceremony in Oklahoma City.
“She’s been a dogged and tenacious investigator and advocate for the domestic violence victims of Adair, Cherokee, Sequoyah and Wagoner counties,” Thorp said.
Hunter recognized Stephens during the 12th annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Press Conference and Awards Ceremony at the Oklahoma Judicial Center Auditorium to recognize and honor “those who go above and beyond to assist victims of domestic violence.”
“Because of the dedication of the many victim services agencies across the state, for the first time in 10 years, Oklahoma is no longer a top-five state in the country for domestic violence deaths,” Hunter said during a day spent raising awareness of the still-critical issue.
Hunter also recognized district staff members for excellence in law enforcement, prosecution, volunteerism and victim advocacy.
Stephens came to District 27 in 2013 as a probation officer and investigator after working several years in the emergency medical field and other areas of law enforcement. She became an investigator under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2016.
A self-described workaholic, Stephens says her passion is, “Helping to seek justice for victims, and doing my job to the best of my ability to make sure the bad guys go to jail for a long time.”
Stephens said the correlation between mass killers and domestic violence cannot be denied, and she encouraged the audience of fellow domestic violence warriors to keep fighting.
“I challenge each of you today to be the person who will stand up and speak out if you witness anyone in a domestic violence situation, to empower our victims to overcome their circumstances and take back control of their lives by utilizing the services we all provide,” Stephens said.