Craig woman speaks about losing a child to domestic violence | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig woman speaks about losing a child to domestic violence

Desiree Moore shared her story during the community awareness event that was part the “Take a Stand” conference on domestic violence held this week

Desiree Moore speaks at a Domestic Violence Conference titled "Take a Stand," which was held Tuesday at the Clarion Inn & Suites in Craig. Moore described the abuse she and her daughters experienced from her ex-husband. Her 5-month-old daughter, Cady, pictured on the screen, died from the abuse.

— Domestic violence destroys lives, including the lives of children.

"She looked like she was asleep, peacefully asleep, but I could hear the whimpers coming from the back of her throat," said Desiree Moore who is a survivor of domestic violence and Colorado Northwestern Community College's director of community education. "In seconds, medical professionals were rushing out into the lobby and freaking out."

The baby was named Cady. She was 5 months old. She was Moore's second child, and on Dec. 23, 2008 doctors pronounced her dead from blunt force trauma to the head inflicted by Moore's husband, Daven Beck, who, at the time, was 20 years old.

The couple was living in Delta at the time.

"I grew up in a world of drugs and abuse and neglect and his family was perfect. They went to church, they could pay their bills and they had a mortgage. Everything that I always wanted. He emulated their values," Moore said.

Moore shared her story of survival and the loss of her baby daughter during the community awareness event that was the final part of the "Take a Stand" domestic violence conference held in Craig on Monday and Tuesday.

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"When I get up in the morning I know one thing's for sure. I am going to be dealing with domestic violence," said Fourteenth Judicial District and Moffat County Court Judge Sandra Gardner who spoke at the event about the Access to Justice Committee that she chairs.

The theme of the conference was the impact of domestic violence on children and featured training sessions by Debra Wingfield a national expert on family violence and child abuse.

Moore knew her children were victims of domestic violence, but until this week she didn't realize she had also been victimized.

"(The first time) he punched the windshield in his truck until it shattered. Things like that kept happening. He would punch things, break things, scream and tell me I only wanted him because I wanted him to earn money," she said.

In one incident her husband struck the back of her legs with a car engine chain, Moore said.

"He apologized. I chalked it up to stress. I decided it was my fault that he had become angry," she said.

A few months later when Moore was at work, her husband lost control and beat their children so badly that the 5-month-old little girl died, and their other child Natalie, who was 2 at the time, had bruises all over her body.

"They showed me a picture of (my) toddler with bruises all over her because he had beat her so severely," she said.

After Moore's baby died, and Natalie sustained abusive injuries, the courts placed Natalie in foster care. It was four months before Moore regained custody of her.

"Natalie would take baby dolls and slam them against the floor and curse at them to shut up," Moore said of her daughter's behavior while in foster care.

After a two year process, the court sentenced Beck to 16 years in prison for the death of his baby, Cady, and abuse of Natalie. He is up for parole next February.

The whole experience ignited intense rage within Moore.

"I didn't know how I walked with all that pain and anger," she said.

With time Moore was able to move on. She had another child, re-married and welcomed her new husband, Phillip Moore's, two children into her heart.

She arrived in Craig in 2010 for a fresh start, and to get away from questions and concerns of those who lived in Delta.

"I got tired of people coming up to me and asking if I was Ok. It was an immediate reminder every time. Sometimes the only way to cope is to stop thinking about it," she said.

Moore hopes that her story will help others.

"I hope that sharing my story will help prevent a tragedy," Moore said Tuesday night while speaking at the "Take a Stand" event in Craig.

Many of the event's speakers mentioned solutions that involved breaking the cycle of abuse to create a better future for all victims of domestic abuse.

"I challenge you as a community to come together and start with those kids to start preventing domestic violence instead of just talking about how big a problem it is," Wingfield said.

Kathryn Deitz who holds a doctorate in psychology and teaches at Colorado Northwestern Community College, was the last presenter at the conference and ended on a hopeful note describing small, everyday actions that anyone may take to help change the culture.

"We can intervene and change people's lives at any age," she said, adding that to overcome the isolation victims often experience you can "smile and wave, you are changing culture when you do that."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

Domestic violence statistics in Moffat County

Craig Police Department and Moffat County Sheriff in 2014 responded to approximately, 300 reports of domestic violence resulting in the arrest of 180 individuals. Of the 300, approximately 100 of those were re-arrested on violation of protection orders, said Craig Police Department Domestic Violence Specialist Travis Young.

Domestic violence across Colorado

In 2013, law enforcement reported 15,522 incidents of domestic violence to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and from 2014 to 2015, Colorado courts issued 8,100 civil protection orders. 6,700 of those protection orders violated said Fourteenth Judicial District and Moffat County Court Judge Sandra Gardner.

Northwest Colorado compared to state averages

Across Colorado in 2014, roughly eight children out of 1,000 experienced maltreatment including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and/or neglect. In Moffat County that ratio was higher with nearly 14 children out of 1,000 had experienced maltreatment. In Routt County, roughly nine out of a 1,000 children experienced maltreatment, and in Rio Blanco County, 34 out of every 1,000 children had experienced maltreatment, according to kidscount.org — the organization that compiles data from the Division of Child Welfare Services, Colorado Department of Human Services.

In addition to those numbers, “most victims will never report the abuse,” Young said.