A counselor discusses how violence can escalate

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — One of the charges suspect Dylan Ites faces following a high-profile arrest is domestic abuse. On Monday night, KELOLAND News sat down with Kelsey Kruse, a counselor at The Compass Center. Kruse works with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Kruse didn’t talk about specifics of the Ites case or any other case. Instead, she discussed in general the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, and what victims experience.

Sioux Falls Police Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said Ites knew the victim, and that the two had an on and off relationship of sorts. On Friday, Clemens said, it turned violent.

“He just basically made the comment that, ‘I’m going to have to kill you,'” Clemens said. “He strangled her, one of the times was with a headlock, he switched to putting both hands on her neck and squeezing.”

Speaking in general about violence, Kruse said it can rapidly get worse.

“You’re talking about an individual who’s willing to violate another person’s physical boundaries, and that can very easily go from pushing and shoving to choking, stabbing,” Kruse said. “It very quickly can escalate.”

She explained that domestic violence usually begins small.

“I think a lot of times people think that domestic assault is hitting and physical violence. And it is, it definitely is,” Kruse said. “But it generally starts out smaller. It starts with the looks. It starts with the sly name calling. It starts with the isolation.”

Kruse said with regard to domestic violence and sexual assault, the Compass Center is “always busy.”

“I would say that we are consistently steady with counseling,” Kruse said. “We’ve just hired another counselor on because we know that we need it, our area, we need more counselors, and we had a waiting list up until couple weeks ago for counseling.”

You can also find The Compass Center here.

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