After a horrific kidnapping ended with the abuser dead Sunday, 10/11 is expanding its coverage on domestic violence. The Lincoln woman had a protection order against her soon-to-be ex-husband.
It's often hard for victims to ask for help. They're embarrassed, afraid their abuser will retaliate, or believe the services are too expensive. But rest assured there is free, confidential help for victims here in Nebraska. One of the places is at Voices of Hope.
More than 8,000 calls come into Voices of Hope every year and 24/7, advocates are helping domestic abuse victims. Morgan Beal is a prevention specialist and also helps with clients fill out protection orders.
"When somebody violates a protection order if it's granted, law enforcement can make an arrest if there's been a violation,” said Beal.
It's good to know there are two types, one for domestic abuse and one for harassment. Both require three incidents. For domestic abuse it can be threats, shoves, or medical treatments.
“In Lancaster County, only 50 percent of protection orders are granted. Just because you sit down and fill it out, doesn't mean a judge will accept that,” said Beal.
Those who are approved, the center advises several more steps:
- Keep your protection order with you
- Give copies to a trusted friend and family member
- Tell your co-workers or boss about your situation.
Sometimes, a protection order isn't good enough. As we've seen recently, some abusers will violate it.
"It could make the situation worse or escalate the violence,” said Beal.
That's why advocates devise a personal safety plan. Although it's unfair, victims may need to take extreme measures just to survive.
"We will make referrals to Friendship Home in order to find her a safe place. Sometimes that isn't enough. Sometimes we have to relocate them all together,” said Beal.
If you have a friend who you think might be a victim, here are some subtle signs to look out for besides bruises. They withdraw from activities they typically do. They make excuses for their partner who is jealous and has no respect for boundaries.