Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2015

CONTACT
Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or (cell) 402-450-7318, or russ.reno@nebraska.gov

Local Activities in October Focus on Ending Domestic Violence 

Lincoln – Every day about 120 calls are made in Nebraska to crisis lines from people affected by domestic violence. That’s more than 43,000 calls a year, and reason for everyone to help stop violence in families, said Doug Weinberg, director of Children and Family Services (CFS) in the Department of Health and Human Services.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Nebraska organizations are sponsoring activities to heighten awareness of the issue.

CFS provides funding to the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, 20 Domestic Violence programs, and Nebraska’s four Tribes to meet the needs of survivors in all 93 Nebraska counties.

“Unfortunately, domestic violence is all around us and we shouldn’t look the other way,” Weinberg said. “I hope all Nebraskans will join DHHS in supporting local domestic violence organizations and survivors to help stop the violence.”

Lynne Lange, executive director of the Coalition, said everyone can help by:

  • Holding the abuser accountable. Domestic violence is not caused by the person being abused. Rather than asking why a survivor doesn’t leave, we need to ask why the abuser doesn’t stop.
  • Not looking the other way when seeing a possible victim or abuser. Ask if the victim needs a safe number to call and explain there are people who can help. Call the police if someone is being abusive.
  • Knowing where survivors can turn for help.
  • Promoting healthy relationships.

“In just one day during the past year, Coalition member programs served 400 survivors,” Lange said. “We need to stop the stigma that survivors face from others, end the silence when abuse occurs, and turn from feelings of shame that frequently accompanies domestic violence. It’s never the survivor’s fault.”

She said the network of offices across the state offer seven core services for adults and children:

  • 24-hour crisis line offering confidential support, information and access to services.
  • Assistance obtaining a domestic abuse protection order, emotional support through the court process, and referrals to local attorneys.
  • A safe place to stay to escape further violence.
  • Ongoing support to survivors and children.
  • Transportation to a safe place 24 hours a day, court proceedings, medical services and community agencies.
  • Prevention programs for children and young adults on child sexual abuse, sexual assault, dating violence, sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence. Programs also make presentations in communities.

Weinberg said free and confidential information is also available 24 hours a day at the following national crisis phone lines so survivors of domestic violence can find support and assistance:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233
  • National Dating Abuse Helpline – 1-866-331-9474
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1-800-656-4673

“When we are silent, domestic violence will only continue to hurt the vulnerable and defenceless,” Weinberg said. “We are fortunate to have resources across the state to help survivors of domestic violence. I encourage survivors to seek that help, and urge anyone who suspects or knows of domestic violence to become a part of the solution to end it.”

More information about the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence can be found at www.nebraskacoalition.com.  A map of the domestic violence program service areas is located at http://www.nebraskacoalition.org/get_help/

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Note to Editors:  View a list of local activities in October to increase awareness of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the following link:  http://1.usa.gov/1VmGhEr