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Empowering Freedom: A child’s reaction to domestic violence

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 7:46 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Intimate partner violence and abuse can come with a lifetime of effects for everyone in the home. In 2019, a total of 665 children received services and care from Friendship Home when it comes to domestic abuse.

This week we’re partnering with Friendship Home in a five-part series called “Empowering freedom from domestic violence.”

We spoke with a survivor who said Friendship Home helped her children heal and grow.

“It is by far the best decision I’ve made for me and my children,” said Joyce, a survivor of domestic violence.

She and her five children escaped violence at home nearly two years ago, “I was wondering, ‘How did I end up in this position?’”

Joyce was married to her husband for nearly 30 years and she said their relationship didn’t start off violent but over time his verbal, emotional and physical abuse escalated.

“Even though they knew it was a bad situation for mommy and for them, they still love him,” she explained.

After reaching a turning point, Joyce reached out to Friendship Home for help, “You have to take that step for yourself and your children.”

Advocates with Friendship Home say domestic abuse impacts children in different ways. They say kids can be scared, angry, sad or take on a more protective role.

“We don’t want to erase their feelings. They’re totally fine to come as they are but we just don’t want them to be stuck in that moment of crisis,” said Randi, a Children’s Advocate with Friendship Home.

Advocates with Friendship Home help children make a safety plan on leaving home that way they feel empowered and have a sense of control.

By using games, exploring the community, talking and building a good foundation advocates say it allows for kids to start healing.

“As we’ve learned, modeling those positive relationships or children having positive relationships actually builds resiliency which is like the best thing we can do,” added Randi.

Survivors are given similar tools to help them walk through this critical time.

“Love, patience, allow them to be able to communicate and voice how they feel,” said Joyce.

For Joyce’s family, they’re still healing but, “The smile that I get let’s me know it’s all worth while.”

Domestic Violence Resources

If you’re experiencing violence at home, help is out there. You can call Friendship Home’s Crisis Line 24/7 at (402) 437-9302 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (866) 331-9474.

Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence compiled a list of the following resources for survivors throughout the state:

  • The Bridge in Fremont: Office (402) 721-4340; Crisis (888)721-4340
  • Crisis Center-Blair located in Blair: Office (402) 533-4411
  • Crisis Center-West Point located in West Point: Office (402) 372-2204
  • Bright Horizons in Norfolk: Office (402) 379-2026; Crisis (402) 379-3798 or (877) 379-3798
  • Bright Horizons - O’Neill located in O’Neill: Office (402) 336-1774
  • Bright Horizons - Ainsworth located in Ainsworth: Office (402) 382-5676
  • Catholic Charities The Shelter in Omaha: Office (402) 558-5700; Crisis (402) 558-5700
  • Center for Survivors in Columbus: Crisis (402) 564-2155 or (800) 658-4482
  • Crisis Center, Inc. in Grand Island: Crisis (308) 381-0555 or (866) 995-4422
  • Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Services in McCook: Crisis: (308) 345-5534 or (877) 345-5534
  • The DOVES Program in Gering: Office (308) 436-2787; Crisis (866) 953-6837
  • Haven House in Wayne: Office (402) 375-5433; Crisis (800) 440-4633
  • Healing Hearts & Families in Broken Bow: Crisis (308) 872-5988 or (800) 942-4040
  • Heartland Family Service in Papillion: Crisis (402) 292-5888 or (800) 523-3666
  • Hope Crisis Center in Fairbury: Office (402) 729-2570; Crisis (877) 388-4673
  • Hope Crisis Center- Crete: Office (402) 826-5727
  • Hope Crisis Center - Beatrice: Office (402) 223-6635
  • Hope Crisis Center - Seward: Office (402) 643-3056
  • Hope Crisis Center - York: Office (402) 362-7527
  • Parent-Child Center in Lexington: Crisis (308) 324-3040 or (800) 215-3040 for Spanish (308) 324-1942 or (866) 351-9594
  • Project Response in Auburn: Crisis (402) 274-5092 or (800) 456-5764
  • Rape/Domestic Abuse Program in North Platte: Crisis (308) 534-3495 or (888) 534-3495
  • S.A.F.E Center in Kearney: Crisis (308) 237-2599 or (877) 237-2513
  • Sandhills Crisis Intervention Program in Ogallala: Crisis (308) 284-6055
  • SASA Crisis Center in Hastings: Crisis (402) 463-4677 or (877) 322-7272 for Spanish (402) 463-5806
  • Voices of Hope in Lincoln: Crisis (402) 475-7273
  • WCA-Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Program in Omaha: Crisis (402) 345-7273 for Spanish Crisis (402) 672-7118

Native American Domestic Violence Programs

  • Ponca Tribe of Nebraska in Niobrara: Lincoln area (402) 438-9222 x204; Norfolk area (402) 371-8834; Omaha area (402) 734-5275 x3618; Sioux City area (712) 258-0500
  • Omaha Nation Abuse Intervention Project: (402) 837-5391
  • Omaha Nation Community Response Team Rural Domestic Violence Program in Walthill: Crisis (402) 922-3712; Crisis Line Toll Free:(844) 299-9612
  • Santee Sioux Nation in Niobrara: (402) 857-2302
  • Winnebago Domestic Violence Program in Winnebago: (402) 878-2272
  • Winnebago Tribal Court: (402) 878-2570
  • Family Violence Council in Lincoln: (402) 489-9292
  • Women’s Fund of Omaha Domestic Violence Council: (402) 827-9280

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