Coping with domestic violence

If you believe you or someone you know is being abused, please call our office (308-532-0624) or our 24-hour crisis line (888-534-3495).

What are domestic violence and domestic abuse?

Abuse is the use or threat of physical or verbal behavior intended to control another human being. The goal of the abuser is to gain and maintain a sense of power. Abusive behavior can be very subtle — like a suggestion — or very obvious, such as life-threatening acts of violence. Both are used to create a feeling of intimidation.

Domestic violence is more than physical abuse. Domestic violence affects every aspect of a victim's life. It involves an imbalance of power and control in a relationship. Every member of a family in a domestic violence relationship is affected.

Domestic violence takes place in the home within a family or between two people in a relationship. Domestic violence can happen between married, unmarried partners, in same-sex relationships, and crosses all religious, racial, ethnic, and socio-economic levels.

Warning signs of an abusive relationship

Does your partner ... 
• embarrass you in front of others?
• use intimidation or threats?
• grab, push, restrain, or hit you?
• isolate you from family or friends?
• keep financial resources from you?

Do you ... 
• feel afraid of your partner?
• make excuses for your partner?
• feel as if you cannot express opinions?
• have to ask permission for things that should be within your control?
• find that you can’t please your partner?

Types of domestic abuse

• Emotional abuse is characterized by being constantly criticized or degraded. The abuser may also call names, withhold affection, and accuse the partner of having affairs or being an unfit parent.
• Isolation may be geographic, emotional, or social. The abuser wishes to keep the victim under control by preventing contact with family, friends, or outside resources.
• Minimizing, denying and blaming. Abusers will minimize or deny the severity of any physical assaults, and will blame incidents on their partner.
• Intimidation may include threatening looks, throwing objects, destroying property and displaying weapons.
• Using children is a common tactic to keep a partner in an abusive relationship. The abuser may threaten to get custody of the children if his partner tries to leave.
• Economic abuse occurs when the abusive partner controls access to the financial resources by withholding money, sabotaging their partner from getting a job, and lying about assets.
• Coercion and threats. The abusive partner may threaten to increase the use of violence toward the partner or the children, threaten suicide or threaten to harm members of the partner’s family if an attempt to leave is made.
• Exploiting male privilege. The often manifests as an abuser feels ownership of his partner and children, and believes he is entitled to demand obedience, often treating the partner as a servant.