Domestic violence in Carson City: Father who lost daughter says education is key | NevadaAppeal.com

Domestic violence in Carson City: Father who lost daughter says education is key

Kirsten Kravosec

If you or someone you know is dealing with a domestic violence situation call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or Carson City Advocates to End Domestic Violence at (775)883-7654.

A look at domestic violence in Carson City:

Wednesday: Increase is worrisome

Thursday: The root of domestic violence

Friday: One woman’s story

Saturday: A family’s grief

Sunday: Resources available

Light After Dark Walk/run

The Advocates to End Domestic Violence is hosting a 5K and 10K walk/run to help raise awareness to domestic violence and sexual assault by lighting the way.

The event is Saturday at 6 p.m. at Riverview Park in Carson City.

Entry for adults is $40. Entry for children 17 years and under is $20 after. All proceeds go toward Advocates to End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Response Advocates.

Participants can register at active.com or at the Classy Seconds Thrift Shop on Hot Springs Road.

Check in for the event is at 5:30 p.m., with the walk starting at 6. There will be refreshments, music and each participant will receive a T-shirt and a glow stick.

For more information contact Traci at 775-883-7654.

Domestic violence statistics:

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women — more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined, nationally

Men are victims of nearly 3 million domestic assaults in the U.S.

Though, a majority of offenders are male, in 2014, men made up nearly 37 percent of domestic victims in Carson City — 144 men per 1,000 is a victim. Nearly a third of temporary protection orders issued are for male victims

More than 60 percent of domestic incidents occur in the home nationally

Women ages 18-34 are at the greatest risk of being a domestic victim nationally

Only 25 percent of physical assaults against women are reported to the police annually, according to national statistics

In Carson City, the most common time of the day for a domestic call to occur is between 6-8 p.m.

In Carson City, the most common domestic violence relationship is cohabitation

In Carson City, 93 percent of the time, the weapon used in a domestic incident is hands, feet and fists

In Nevada, police officers follow mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence, meaning if they can determine a primary aggressor of the incident that is the person who gets arrested

Definition of domestic violence:

Domestic violence occurs when a person commits one of the following acts against or upon the person’s spouse or former spouse, any other person whom the person is related by blood or marriage, any other person with whom the person is or was actually residing, any person with whom the person has had or is having a dating relationship, any other person with whom the person has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons, the person’s minor child or any person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the person’s minor child:

A battery

An assault

Compelling the other person by force or threat of force to perform an act from which the other person has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which the other person has the right to perform

A sexual assault

A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other person

A false imprisonment

Unlawful entry to the other person’s residence, or forcible entry against the other person’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other person from the entry.

Domestic Violence: NRS 33.018. acts which constitute domestic violence

If you or someone you know is dealing with a domestic violence situation call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or Carson City Advocates to End Domestic Violence at 775-883-7654.

A Carson City father says educating women and young girls to the signs of domestic violence is the key to preventing it.

Greg Kravosec says his daughter, Kirsten Kravosec, had been in abusive relationships for nearly 10 years before her death.

On July 5, 2015, Cory Brewer was arrested on suspicion of open murder after police found the body of Kirsten, a Carson City native.

Police say paramedics were called to the 4000 block of Gardella Avenue in Reno earlier that day where they found Kirsten dead from possible suspicious circumstances.

“I think the key in this battle is education early. Doing the seminars in the schools, teaching our younger population that this is not okay, this is not the norm that there is healthy ways to have a relationship, to help the women get the courage to leave and for them to teach their kids so that they can end the pattern of abuse.”Jane

The case still is an active investigation and prosecutors still are waiting on autopsy protocol to determine official cause of death.

In the criminal complaint filed for the case, the death of Kirsten is presumed to be by means of asphyxiation and blunt force trauma to her head and body.

Kirsten’s family believes she was trying to leave her relationship.

“We knew it was a bad situation and we were hoping that it wouldn’t be what it is but unfortunately it’s not,” Greg said.

Kirsten’s family described the 30-year-old mother of two as a great person. Her father said she was always a great kid growing up, a bright young woman who was an honor student in high school and participated in Pop Warner cheerleading, drill team and band at Carson High School.

According to Greg, Kirsten’s first abusive experience occurred when she became pregnant with her first child.

Greg said Kirsten, as an only child, was close to her parents but, Greg felt as the abuse started Kirsten became more distant mentally and physically with her family.

“(She) just kept getting further and further from Carson City. The first move was down the street, then Mound House to Dayton to Silver Springs,” Greg said.

He said that’s when the family started noticing the physiological abuse.

Kirsten, in a temporary protection order she filed in 2010, wrote she was “scared for her life.”

In the order she wrote her partner would hit her, he tried to run her off of the road twice and would threaten her with knives and other weapons.

“He is uncontrollably violent and the kids have been hit by swinging doors or flying objects when he’s having one of his rampages,” Kirsten wrote in the TPO. “I fear greatly for mine and my kid’s safety and I am scared that he might try to hurt me to get to the kids.”

It took five years before Kirsten was able to leave.

Kirsten ended up moving back near her parents for about a year before she started dating Brewer.

Right before Cory and Kirsten started dating in 2011, he was in jail for domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, and other drug related charges against his ex-wife, according to the police records.

Greg says after the couple moved in there were signs of domestic abuse.

“I told her ‘you have just walked back into a nightmare situation like before’ and ‘how can you do this?’” Greg said.

Greg said it was like he and his wife were living the domestic situation.

“You are on your guard, not knowing if he is about to go off,” Greg said. “It’s almost like a soldier when they are with all of their guys overseas and they are driving, you have to kind of have a distance because you know that any of them can go at anytime and you can’t have an emotional bond with them until they are home.”

Two weeks before she was murdered, Kirsten went to live with her grandfather in Dayton, according to Greg.

Over Fourth of July weekend, Kirsten brought the two kids to her grandfather’s house in Dayton for the weekend and then returned to Reno.

The next day deputies responded to reports of a dead body at the Reno home.

Kirsten’s parents got custody of the children that night, and Cory was arrested the following Tuesday for open murder and ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

Brewer is set to have a status hearing in early December, and after that a preliminary hearing is going to be set.

Greg hopes by sharing Kirsten’s story it will encourage women and girls to recognize the signs and issues of domestic violence.

“I think that is the only hope that we have in society is teaching a young girl that all of this happens on a daily basis and you need to be on the look out and be aware of it,” Greg said.

WARNING SIGNS

It starts simple, a simple “you can’t do anything right.” Next, there’s controlling your every move or showing jealousy when you leave to go visit family or friends.

“A lot of people think that these relationships start off abusive but a lot of times people are a little possessive or controlling or jealous but you thought that was because he loved you,” said Lisa Lee director of Carson City’s Advocates to End Domestic Violence.

“Fast forward a few years and things may have gotten tight money wise and then he shoves or slaps and you have kids together and he is sorry and then maybe it just keeps escalating.”

Lee warned in an abusive relationship, things can escalate quickly.

Jane who shared her story about living in an abusive relationship in Friday’s Nevada Appeal, now works as a social worker and focuses on helping victims of domestic violence she encounters.

Jane, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, said the main advice she gives is to just leave, because the likelihood is even if a victim stays there’s a great chance of the abuser still reverting to violence.

“I get people who come into my job who are in domestic violence situations and I will tell them, if he has told you he is going to kill you, he is going to kill you,” Jane said.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SCHOOLS

Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls nationally have said they have been in a relationship where a boyfriend has threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.

As a teenager, dating is usually a new concept and if students don’t know what warning signs to look for, they may believe dangerous characteristics in their partner are normal.

Education is important to reducing these teenage rate, said Camika Crawford, chief communications officer for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Women between the ages of 18-34 are at the greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence, nationally.

Often times, victims and offenders of domestic violence see other forms of abuse at a young age and create a misguided idea of what a normal relationship is supposed to look like. Jane said she witnessed her mother being abused when she was a child, and because of that she learned a misconstrued image of what a relationship should look like.

“I saw my birth mom be abused her whole life and you know I had experienced other abusive behaviors as a child at the hands of other people it was easy for me to pick people who were abusive because that is your norm,” Jane, a survivor of domestic violence said. “If I wasn’t given a kind word or I wasn’t emotionally abused somehow or I wasn’t getting played those mind games then it wasn’t normal, I didn’t know what to do with myself.”

Education about domestic violence is key to reducing the numbers. If society can educate victims on how to recognize a domestic relationship before it builds and to teach offenders there are alternative ways to express anger than through physical or emotional violence, domestic numbers may begin to decrease.

“Education early on does play a role in reducing domestic violence incidents,” Crawford said.

However, though the Carson City School District attempts to educate students to stay away from dangerous situations with drugs, unprotected sex and alcohol, dating violence isn’t a topic the schools talk about to students. Superintendent Richard Stokes said the schools have a district wellness policy that focuses on the social/emotional component to their curriculum, however it mostly focuses on treating other people respectfully and kindly.

“The program is aimed to teach children how to manage human contact,” Stokes said. “It mostly is student interaction, but the concepts could be applied with people of any age.”

Currently, the curriculum focuses on students, kindergarten through fifth grade, to focus on developing social and emotional skills. Stokes said they also have the D.A.R.E. program for the seventh graders to help with positive decision-making, however there’s no curriculum that’s aimed at looking at healthy relationships for students.

Sheriff Ken Furlong is currently in the beginning stages of building a taskforce with Carson City community organizations and leaders to help with domestic violence education in the community.

According to The Clothesline Project, a comparison of intimate partner violence rates between teens and adults show teens are at a higher risk of intimate partner abuse.

For victims of domestic violence, they believe helping other victims and helping educate them and community on domestic violence, it can help lead to less incidents.

“I think the key in this battle is education early,” Jane said. “Doing the seminars in the schools, teaching our younger population that this is not okay, this is not the norm that there is healthy ways to have a relationship, to help the women get the courage to leave and for them to teach their kids so that they can end the pattern of abuse.”