Community Domestic Violence Intervention Program for Lincoln County Nebraska

Stop the cycle of violence.
                       It begins with you.




Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Abuse

Is domestic abuse just physical violence?
We believe that domestic abuse is when an individual attempts to establish and maintain power and control over their intimate partner. This may include many non-physical types of abuse, including name calling, economic abuse, intimidation, verbal and emotional abuse, threats, control tactics and many others.

What helpful things can I say to a friend that is in an abusive relationship?
Let them know that they are not alone. Do not blame them or ask them what they did to provoke the abuse! Explain that you are concerned for their safety and well-being. Let them know that there are people and agencies in the community that can help. Help them to identify their strengths. Being in an abusive relationship is not an indication of weakness, to the contrary it takes strength in order to survive.
  • Understand that they may still love their partner in spite of the abuse. It is normal to have mixed emotions about a partner who is abusive. In many cases the abuse does not happen all of the time. A victim may have many positive experiences as well as fearful times. Leaving any relationship is a loss that will be grieved, not only for what was, but for the hopes and dreams that were built into the relationship as well.
  • Stress that she has personal rights in a relationship! Many people who grew up in homes where there was domestic abuse or who have experienced abuse in multiple relationships might not have a concept of what their rights are in intimate partner relationships. Stress to them that they have a right to be treated with respect, to make their own choices, and that love should not hurt!
  • Here are some easy things to remember to say:

    I believe you.
    I am afraid for you.
    You are not alone.
    It is not your fault.
    You do not deserve to be abused.
    Help is available.

  • Encourage them to contact the confidential 24 hour/day Crisis Line at the Rape/Domestic Abuse Program. The number is (308) 534-3495.
Why don’t victims of domestic abuse just leave?
There are so many reasons that victims of domestic abuse don’t just leave. No abusive relationship is exactly the same, each victim of domestic abuse faces a unique set of circumstances and challenges. Many times, they blame themselves for the abuse and also believe that if they change, the abuse will stop. Sometimes, they hold on to the hope that the abuser will change and believe the promises that it will. Sometimes, they are so controlled by the abuser that is nearly impossible to escape. Often times, abusers threaten their partner with threats to kill, commit suicide, take the children away and many others. Leaving an abusive relationship can be very dangerous for a victim of domestic abuse, and for that reason, sometimes they stay.

We like to pose an alternate question: “Why does he/she do that?” We put the focus on the person that is committing the abuse. Truly, this is the only way that it will stop…if the abuser stops being abusive.

Does alcohol cause domestic abuse?
While alcohol may escalate abuse, we believe that alcohol does not cause someone to be abusive. Our experience shows us, that even while under the influence of alcohol, abusers make conscious decisions on what is in their best interest and are certainly able to make the choice to be non-abusive. Substance abuse and domestic abuse are two separate issues for an abuser and require separate interventions. Getting an abuser sober will not necessarily stop the abuser from being abusive.

Does alcohol cause domestic abuse?
While alcohol may escalate abuse, we believe that alcohol does not cause someone to be abusive. Our experience shows us, that even while under the influence of alcohol, abusers make conscious decisions on what is in their best interest and are certainly able to make the choice to be non-abusive. Substance abuse and domestic abuse are two separate issues for an abuser and require separate interventions. Getting an abuser sober will not necessarily stop the abuser from being abusive.

If my partner has been abusive to me, why shouldn’t we just go to couples counseling?
Couples counseling is designed for situations in which both partners can feel safe in attending and leaving afterwards, no matter how difficult the dialogue in the sessions has been. In an abusive relationship, this dialogue may make the situation even more threatening or dangerous to the victim. We encourage men who have been abusive in their relationship to complete CDVIP’s 52-week group program prior to beginning couples counseling with their partner and to then only attend the couples counseling if the partner feels safe, supported and ready for this dialogue.

Are children affected by witnessing domestic abuse?
Researchers estimate that between 3 million and 10 million children in the United States are exposed to domestic violence each year. They can be harmed by: 
  • Intentional injuries inflicted by the perpetrator. 
  • Unintentional injuries from violence directed at the parent. 
  • An atmosphere in which they directly witness violence or the aftermath of an attack. 
  • Emotional abuse when they are used as pawns to coercively control the abused parent.
Domestic violence affects children in varied and complex ways that can be exhibited in their emotional, behavioral, social and physical development. These problems, when compared with children who have not witnessed domestic violence, can include aggression, depression, anxiety, lower levels of self-esteem, and below-average academic performance. 

Witnessing domestic violence, especially when coupled with direct abuse or exposure to other forms of violence, also has been identified as likely influence and predictor of a child’s condoning or use of violence, particularly for boys. Children also might lose respect for their mother – and women in general – if her abuser constantly tells her she is worthless and unable to care for her children. These children also must contend with conflicting emotions about a father they both fear and love.

What can men do in their communities to help end domestic abuse?
  1. Acknowledge and understand how sexism, male dominance and male privilege lay the foundation for all forms of violence against women.
  2. Examine and challenge our individual sexism and the role that we play in supporting men who are abusive.
  3. Recognize and stop colluding with other men by getting out of our socially defined roles and take a stance to end violence against women.
  4. Remember that our silence is affirming. When we choose not to speak out against men’s violence, we are supporting it.
  5. Educate and re-educate our sons and other young men about our responsibility in ending men’s violence against women.
  6. Break out of the “Man Box”. Challenge traditional images of manhood that stop us from actively taking a stand to end violence against women.
  7. Accept and own our responsibility that violence against women will not end until men become part of the solution to end it. We must take an active role in creating a cultural and social shift that no longer tolerates violence against women.
  8. Stop supporting the notion that men’s violence against women is due to mental illness, lack of anger management skills, chemical dependency, stress, etc…Violence against women is rooted in the historic oppression of women and the outgrowth of the socialization of men.
  9. Take responsibility for creating appropriate and effective ways to develop systems to educate and hold men accountable.
  10. Create systems of accountability to women in your community.
    ---from www.acalltomen.org
For more information or if you have any questions contact our office at 308.534.5879.

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Community Domestic Violence Intervention Program (CDVIP)    |    102 East Third Street, Suite 204    |    North Platte, Nebraska 69101    |    308.534.5879    |    email


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