THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2022

Amanda Stonerock is a business professional born and raised in Montana.  She has worked diligently for the last twelve years in social services and working to implement effective practices in the criminal justice system.  She currently owns Stonerock Business Solutions based in Billings, MT and specializes in non-profit development, grant writing, and strategic management.  For the last eight years, her work has focused on domestic violence, substance abuse, and community corrections.  In addition to her professional experience, Amanda is a two-time survivor of Domestic Violence both as a child and as an adult.  Her talk will focus on how the system failed her as a victim.  She encourages attendees to think outside of the stereotypes to identify potential victims and create systems that don’t create more trauma.

Jen Buckley is an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe in Rocky Boy, MT. Her Indian name is Sweetgrass Lodge. Jen graduated from MSU-Northern in Havre, MT with a double bachelor’s degree in Communications and Community Service. Her work background is in child protection, felony probation and parole, a tribal liaison for the Montana Board of Crime Control and now is currently working for Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council as the Tribal Opioid Response Project Coordinator. Jen, most importantly, is a huge advocate for Murdered Missing Indigenous Women and is currently working on a statewide Billboard campaign to raise awareness on this issue with the hopes that it goes even farther beyond Montana.

Tara Walker Lyons is a born-and-raised Montanan, a proud Piikunii (Blackfeet), and an outspoken activist for painful issues relating to her tribe and beyond. Born on the Blackfeet reservation in Northwest Montana and raised in the Bitterroot Valley, Tara has established herself as a passionate and dedicated voice for tough issues like childhood sexual abuse and missing & murdered Indigenous people. Lyons is a dedicated Indigenous leader and survivor of chronic childhood trauma. By working to pass multiple pieces of legislation, speaking to audiences across the country, and sharing her story of survival & strength, Tara has established herself as a prominent voice of change in her State. Tara has worked to reform Montana’s Statute of Limitations laws by eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for sexual assault and extending the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits, giving victims more time to file civil litigation against their abusers. Tara created our country’s very first “Sexual Assault Survivor’s Day” in Montana which occurs on the first Tuesday of April every year. In 2017, Tara worked to successfully pass a law aimed towards educating children in Montana’s public schools about body safety and sexual abuse prevention. It is named ‘Tara’s Law’ in her honor. She was awarded the PAXA Parent of the Year Award last year. Tara is a TEDx Official Speaker and her talk “Surviving Trauma: Without forgiveness can we still heal?” was released in 2020 and has been viewed by tens of thousands of people across the world. Lyons currently lives in Hamilton, Montana where she raises her two children and works as a substitute teacher and photographer

Barbie Jenkins

I am a victim of child abuse by family and friends, adult rape by a stranger, a landlord and most recently, a homeless man. My family is always at the heart of all I do.

Sharing my story as often as I have has been very cathartic for me. I find strength and courage in every word I utter. Bringing people together to feel free to share their stories too, is immeasurably fulfilling. I am bringing Jane Doe No More, a survivor led organization, to my own state! There is power in speaking! Empowering others to speak up and advance their own healing is incredibly rewarding.

I’m a wife of 33 years and a mother to a 27 year old son and a 21 year old daughter. I’m a professional business woman, an advocate for domestic violence with a focus on sexual assault, and an active RAINN Speakers Bureau member. I’m also a member of the Montana Victim Impact Panel and I speak to inmates about the ripple effects of their crimes in the hope I’ll create in them a desire to change. I am the author of Burying Jane Doe, A Journey of Courage and Strength. It is my desire to affect change in the way society responds to sexual assault.

Jain Walsh received her J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law in 2011. She is a Crime Victim Rights attorney, specifically working to ensure crime victims’ rights are enforced within criminal and post-conviction proceedings. Prior to joining MLSA in 2019, Jain operated her own family law practice in Missoula. Jain has a solid background in child welfare and dependency and neglect work. She is trained in facilitative and evaluative mediation, and collaborative law.

Jain served on the Western Montana Bar Association’s pro bono committee and is the former secretary of the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project. (MUD). In her free time, Jain enjoys music and DIY hands-on projects.

Brittney Mada is an attorney with the Crime Victim Practice Group of Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA), Montana’s only legal aid, private, non-profit law firm. Mada is admitted to practice in the State of Montana, Fort Peck Tribal Court, and Northern Cheyenne Tribal Court. Mada earned her Juris Doctorate from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law with a certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution and a Pro Bono Honors designation and has been in practice since 2020.

Mada is a Board Member for CASA of Yellowstone County, Board Member for the New Lawyer Section of the State Bar, and a small business owner. Mada has extensive experience working with non-profits throughout Montana, including the Yellowstone County Area Human Trafficking Task Force, CASA of Missoula County, the Community Dispute Resolution Center of Missoula, SAFE Harbor, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County, and VISIONS Service Adventures.

Nate Griesse has been a police officer for the past ten years and is currently the domestic violence detective with the Missoula Police Department in Montana. With inspiration and training from the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, Detective Griesse spearheaded reform of current practices associated with non-fatal domestic violence strangulation investigations for the entirety of Missoula County.  Detective Griesse rewrote policy and SOPs to include a response for non-fatal strangulation investigations.  He partnered with a multi-disciplinary team, including members from the Missoula City and County Attorney Offices, Relationship Violence Services, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, University of Montana Police Department, Partnership Health Center, and Providence Health and Services, to create and implement the first ever standardized county wide response to strangulation.  His work led to the formation of a strangulation evaluation pilot program associated with local medical providers.   He provides training to law enforcement and other medical, legal, and advocacy professionals to educate and promote a consistent community response to non-fatal domestic violence strangulations. Detective Griesse’s efforts earned him the 2020 Domestic Violence Peace Officer of the Year Award and the 2020 Exchange Club Peace Officer of the Year.

Detective Griesse joined the Alliance for HOPE International faculty in 2020 as a Strangulation Instructor and also serves on the Legal Advisory Committee. Detective Griesse has spent approximately twenty years in public service in a variety of capacities.

Tawny Rogers is the State Victim Liaison for the Montana Board of Crime Control. She currently works across the state to identify where there are barriers to accessing services for victims and survivors and where service providers encounter gaps. Prior to beginning with MBCC, Tawny worked for the Board of Pardons and Parole as the Victim/Witness Coordinator assisting victims, survivors, and families through parole hearings and the aftermath. She spent many years devoted to serving youth experiencing homelessness, countless of whom were victims of human trafficking and childhood abuse and neglect. While working with youth and young adults, she also pursued and received her Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Investigative Criminology. Tawny’s focus since beginning her career has been the development and implementation of Trauma-Informed Practices when working with victims and survivors. She is a trainer in Trauma-Informed Practices. She is also a dog mom to a 100lb Bernese/Border Collie and a 12-year-old German Shepherd.

Brittany Christofferson

Licensed Addiction Counselor for RiverStone Health’s Integrated Behavioral Health Team 

Brittany Christofferson started her career as a Child Advocate for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program in Havre, MT in 2008. Before moving to Billings, MT to work for the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, she was the Program Director for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program and the Program Facilitator for the MDT/SART (Multidisciplinary Sexual Assault Response) Team for Hill County.

More recently, Brittany was the Outpatient Director for Rimrock Foundation before given the opportunity to work with RiverStone Health for the past two years.  Brittany has 14 years working with people in the Human Services field.

Brittany is a member of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Yellowstone County, trained in QPR (Question Persuade, Refer) and CALM (Counseling on Access to Lethal Means) and is now a trainer for Suicide Safer Care.

She is passionate about reducing the stigma of mental illness, validating people’s unique experiences, instilling hope and being compassionate and empathetic with those suffering to ensure they are not alone.

On her free time, Brittany enjoys spending time with her family, dog Monte, cat Marvin, and supporting her children in their extracurricular activities.  She is also turning into a bit of a plant enthusiast!

Sandi Karr, M.Ed., LAC, LCPC is both a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Licensed Addiction Counselor in the State of Montana.  Karr is a member of NAADAC National Association for Addiction Professionals.  She is a 2006 graduate of Montana State University – Billings with a Master of Education in School Counseling from Montana State University – Billings and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2000.  She began her career as a psychotherapist and addiction counselor at the Mental Health Center in Billings, MT.  Today she is the Director of Behavioral Health Services for Riverstone Health, which integrates behavioral health into the primary care setting.  She started with Riverstone Health in 2010.   Karr has a distinctive understanding of treating mental health in primary care, as well as educating primary care providers about mental health.  She works as a Behavioral Health Provider in clinic and has a teaching role with the Montana Family Medicine Residency.   Karr is dually licensed with a focus on treating patients with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders.  She is certified in treatment modalities for trauma disorders, EMDR, Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy.  Karr has presented on several topics to include trauma-informed care, suicide prevention, addiction medicine and treatment of patients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders and the role of behavioral health in managing chronic health conditions.