Aleshea L. Boals is a Victim Witness Coordinator with the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office. She has worked with crime victims for the last 19 years in Utah and Idaho. Aleshea has worked in both prosecutor and law enforcement offices. Aleshea began her career at the Utah County Children’s Justice Center as a Victim Witness Coordinator supporting child sexual abuse victims. She moved back to Idaho and worked at the Canyon County Prosecutors’ Office as a Victim Witness Coordinator working violent crimes. Aleshea was one of the founding Board Members for Advocates Against Family Violence.
After having twins, Aleshea worked part time for MADD Idaho. While at MADD, she co-created NetVMS, an online victim management software. This program is used by many victim service providers throughout Idaho. In 2006, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office asked Aleshea to create the Canyon County Victim Witness Unit. Aleshea works to provide excellent victim services to current victims of crime as well as to victims of crime whose cases have yet to be resolved. Her work includes a Cold Case Warrants Taskforce, which serves victims of crime who have unsolved cases. She also co-created the DVD “Like Father Like Son- A Tribute to Canyon County Victims of Domestic Violence.” Aleshea spearheads the annual “Riverbilly: Dancing in the Dirt” at the Snake River Stampede Rodeo. This event celebrates bravery of domestic violence survivors and law enforcement.
Aleshea received the Soroptimist Ruby Award for Outstanding Work to Improve the Lives of Women and the Award of Excellence for Outstanding Victims Services from the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Columbia College and an Associate’s Degree in Political Science from BYU Idaho. Aleshea is married to Ken Boals and they have four children and reside in Meridian, Idaho.
What is your passion for Advocates Against Family Violence?
When I began working as a Canyon County Victim Witness Coordinator in 1999, I worked my first domestic violence case. I kept thinking “if it’s so bad, why doesn’t SHE leave?” Obviously, I needed training!
I went to my first training and began to understand the cycle of violence. After a few years of working with domestic violence victims and understanding the obstacles that each of one of them faced, I felt an overwhelming desire to do something that could help.
One particular victim made an impression on me. She would not leave her spouse because she had a 13 year male old child and could not move into the shelter with a 13 year old boy. I felt outraged. Why would a victim need to choose between her own safety and being with her child?
It was after a few cases like these that I, along with many passionate people, began to see a need for a shelter in Caldwell. I was privileged to be part of that initial board that dreamed of having a place for victims that would take them with all their issues and help them become survivors. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if it really would be a great dream or if it could become a reality. I’m happy to know that many amazing employees and volunteers over the years have kept the dream alive and Advocates Against Family Violence is thriving as a result of that work.
What inspired you to volunteer your time to Advocates Against Family Violence?
Over the years, I have seen AAFV grow. Through the good and the bad, AAFV’s passion has been the same – to be a part of a victim’s solution. I wanted to volunteer my time again because I have could see the dedication of the employees and the survivors. I wanted to be a part of the good work that is happening at AAFV. I understand what victims need and I know that AAFV will be there to provide compassion, education and a warm bed when a victim needs it.
What is your personal vision for Advocates Against Family Violence?
I hope to continue the good work that AAFV has been known for and also help guide the organization’s stability for the future. I hope that long after we are all gone, AAFV will continue to be a beacon of hope for victims in need.