At the height of her career Charlotte Klisares (Char) was the victim of domestic violence before she was born. After her mother tried unsuccessfully to kill her by gunshot while still in utero, she grew up alternately in the foster system and with her mother and siblings in a physically abusive home. As an adult, she found that the same grit that saw her through childhood translated into a habit of hard work and with it she grew a real estate business that made her a leader in her Des Moines community. At the height of her career, Char found herself in the midst of chaos again when she went to end a brief relationship with someone who was very experienced at manipulating the justice system to do his dirty work after he filed a false report. Char found herself with a warrant for her arrest, top story on the local news, and the front page of the local newspaper that eventually spread worldwide. It took another 200 days for the chaos to finally end and all charges being dismissed. During that time, she learned about a type of abuse she hadn’t yet understood: abuse and neglect by the system itself.
CKRET Foundation was born out of my story. Its aim is to bridge the gaps inherent in the current justice system and to help prevent the cycle of violence from repeating. Through the Foundation, Char shares both what the system can and cannot do. It highlights what a victim can do for themselves and helps them along the way.
“The justice system is doing the best it can, but sometimes it’s the wrong place to go for domestic issues. If I can do all of this in my world, I want to show other people all that is possible.”