t’s been 10 years since Kristine Meza died however her three youthful sisters nonetheless have clear reminiscences of her appearing as a second mother throughout their childhood, driving them to highschool or snapping her fingers to reprimand them once they have been out of line.
When she determined to pursue nursing faculty in her 20s, even that was accomplished partly to set an instance for her youthful siblings, says her mom, Laura Acevedo. “I used to be a single mother and I labored very lengthy hours and generally two and three jobs, so she took on the position of mom and helper after I wasn’t there,” Acevedo says. “She felt she needed to set the bar for her sisters, and she or he simply needed them to be pleased with her.”
It was maybe that motherly position that led Meza to try to resolve issues on her personal earlier than ever bringing them to her household. She didn’t wish to burden anybody.
So, when Meza advised her mother and sisters that the boyfriend with whom she’d lately ended a two-year relationship had bodily abused her and now was threatening her, Acevedo knew it was severe. “She had reached a breaking level,” she says.
Sister Jessica Meza says Kristine advised her the ex-boyfriend was calling in any respect hours of the day, threatening violence and promising to trace her down if she went out. Kristine ultimately filed a protecting order with the San Antonio Police Division, however her household says she was decided to not let him intervene together with her life objectives and so she continued her routines of going to work, faculty and church and spending time with associates.
On Feb. 11, 2011, whereas stepping into her automobile to go to work, Kristine Meza was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, who then turned the gun on himself.
“She had all of those goals and she or he felt the whole lot was falling into place,” Acevedo says. Provides Jessica, “The concept of him taking her life by no means crossed our minds.”
By way of the devastation, Kristine’s household knew they needed to proceed her legacy of caring for others. They based the Kristine Meza Basis as a tribute to her and share her story in hopes of adjusting the trajectory for different home violence victims. Their annual Purple Run, held every October together with Household Violence Prevention Companies, serves to lift consciousness of the difficulty and to encourage not less than one sufferer to hunt assist.
“We don’t need their story to finish the way in which my sister’s story ended,” Jessica Meza says. It wasn’t till they misplaced her sister that Jessica says she realized what a problem home violence is in Bexar County. The variety of native girls killed by companions is greater than in some other main metropolis in Texas and it tripled from 2012 to 2017. Through the pandemic, home violence has solely elevated. Final 12 months, 30 San Antonio homicides have been attributed to home violence, up from 21 the 12 months earlier than, and the general charge of home violence calls was additionally up in San Antonio and nationwide.
Acevedo says Kristine Meza was like many ladies in that she felt some disgrace for changing into a sufferer. “As with most individuals in that state of affairs, she had this sense of pondering it was her fault ultimately. She had a very good household and assist system, nice associates, it was virtually like she felt this sense of humiliation as a result of she thought this wasn’t purported to occur to somebody like her,” Acevedo says. “It doesn’t discriminate the place you might be socially or economically. Nobody is immune.”
Acevedo says she imagines if Kristine have been nonetheless right here that she would have a “home full of children” by now as she lengthy dreamed of getting the sort of large household she grew up in. She beloved spending holidays with siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins and couldn’t wait to have her personal children share in that kind of affection.
And whereas the Purple Run, which can be held each just about and in particular person on Oct. 16 at Our Woman of the Lake College, is a somber event, Jessica Meza and Acevedo say it is also a therapeutic and even joyous occasion because it offers them a technique to bear in mind Kristine and provide hope to others.
“There may be at all times hope,” Acevedo says. “Regardless of how dire or determined your state of affairs is, know there’s at all times a method out. It will not be simple, but it surely simply requires taking that very first step.”