The Community Crisis Center of Northeast Oklahoma was one of six recipients receiving support from the tribe for its domestic violence shelter.

TAHLEQUAH – A Cherokee Nation donation will help with operating expenses for a domestic violence shelter that is a haven for abused victims in Miami and surrounding communities.

The Community Crisis Center of Northeast Oklahoma was just one of six domestic violence shelters in northeast Oklahoma that received a $15,000 donation from the Tahlequah-based tribe.

“It’s hard to find funding to pay the light bill,” said Keila Dewey, Community Crisis Center business manager of the expenses associated with running the Miami-based shelter.

The center provides services to domestic violence victims, including children in Ottawa, Delaware and Craig counties.

“It’s hard to find funding for the shelter’s operations,” Dewey said

The yearly costs to operate a shelter is around $250,000, she said.

The goal of Community Crisis Center is to end domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking through client services, community collaboration and public awareness, Dewey said.

The staff of 24 workers help the organization operate a 19-bed shelter in Miami and a Safe House in Grove with satellite offices in Jay and Vinita.

A mother with children or an individual woman can stay at the Miami shelter up to 30 days and often they can stay longer, Dewey said.

“We are usually full every night,” Dewey said.

The Safe House in Grove can accommodate a family and is used once or twice a month. The average stay is five days, she said.

“Together, these entities are helping hundreds of domestic violence victims across northeast Oklahoma escape the atmosphere of physical, verbal and emotional abuse,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. in a prepared statement.

A National Institute of Justice 2016 study showed in 2010 that over 84 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime as compared to 64 percent of non-Hispanic white women.

“There should be no doubt they are committed to breaking the cycle of domestic violence which is, unfortunately, plaguing Indian Country. I’m proud to say the Cherokee Nation is supportive of their mission,” Hoskin said.

In total, Cherokee Nation donated $90,000 to support domestic violence shelters in the region. Other shelters receiving funds were Women in Safe Homes Inc., of Muskogee; Safenet Services, of Claremore; Help-In-Crisis, of Tahlequah; Family Crisis Counseling Center, of Bartlesville and Domestic Violence Intervention Services, of Tulsa.

For more information on services provided by Community Crisis Center call 918-540-2275 in Miami, 918-253-3939 in Jay, 918-256-1945 in Vinita or visit http://getmeout.org.