Category Archives: English Articles

12 Steps to Protect Your Finances When Leaving an Abusive Relationship

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Lisa Orban was married to her abuser for three years. In 1990, she left after he threatened to kill her and their two young children.  She was 20 years old. Her financial situation in the marriage?  “Bad, in a nutshell,” she recalls. Not unusual for the time, her  husband was the main breadwinner, and he managed the finances.  “Whenever there was a chance that I might make enough money  or make more money than him or do anything to upset his  financial apple cart, so to speak, he would come in and  sabotage it.”

She lost multiple jobs because of his meddling. She moved with  him from her hometown in Illinois to Arizona for college, where  she’d won a four-year scholarship to study psychology. Before  she could start, he contacted the university and told them she’d  decided to drop out. “Imagine my surprise when I go to  registration day and find out that my scholarship is gone,” she says.

He even had control of the mailbox. He took her key, though she  thought she’d just lost it, and put off replacing it. That had major, unexpected financial ramifications. “It wasn’t until after we were divorced that I found out that I had not paid off my student loan.” The $4,000 loan ultimately cost her $38,000 to repay, she says.

The checks Orban thought were going into the mail were not, and the missed payment notices from her loan providers weren’t getting to her. He kept control of the checking account. He wouldn’t let her use the car alone. He knew how much money she earned, and he would accompany her to the bank to deposit her paychecks. He signed up for credit cards in her name.

By the time Orban left and filed for divorce, she was $80,000 in debt and didn’t even know about it.

About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe intimate partner violence in their lifetime, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Of those who experience violence, 98% also experience financial abuse. So what are ways you can protect your finances in a situation like this?

Steps to Prepare Your Finances Before Leaving
1. Connect with a Victim Advocate
2. Save Money
3. Make Copies of Important Documents
4. Cut Ties and Open a New Bank Account
5. Find a Financial Advisor
6. Find an Attorney.

Steps to Rebuild Your Finance After Leaving
7. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
8. Find Resolution on Lingering Debts
9. Create a New Budget
10. Rebuild Your Credit
11. If You Need to, Find a New Job and Housing
12. Prepare for Financial Success

As advocates at Haven House, we often see abusers restrict or limit access to the economic resources of the home. Spotting financial or economic abuse may be another way to spot that there may also physical, emotional, sexual, or mental abuse occurring in the home as well.

If you are experiencing this type of abuse or you think you know someone who may be, you can speak to one of our advocates to find out more info: 1-800-440-4633.

*Read the full article at:

7 Times….Why so Many?


Working as advocates for domestic violence victims, we often work with clients who do return to their abusive situations. We understand the reasons why and continue to offer support when they are ready to leave again. However many people ask “Why in the world do they go back? Why don’t they just leave?”

On average, a domestic violence victim will return to an abusive relationship up to seven times. It is important that we are able to recognize the “why”, so we can aim to intervene and break the cycle of returning to an abusive situation.

Why does a person return to an abusive relationship?

Unfamiliarity: Stepping out of everything a person knows can be scary. This can mean leaving friends, family, your home, and everything you know behind when leaving an abusive
relationship. Sometimes this unfamiliarity is too much and scary.
Manipulation: Abusers will continually try to persuade an individual to come back. This manipulation is often filled with empty promises, sweet talk, or even threats.
Love for the abuser: Even though a person may have been abused, they still feel a sense of love for their abuser, and return hoping that things will change.
Lack of Support: If a person doesn’t receive understanding from loved ones, and does not have access to vital resources they can often feel as though it is just easier to go back.
Fear of being alone: For some people the desire to feel a sense of belonging, even if its abusive, overtakes the desire to leave the relationship.

There are many more reasons why people return, but there are things we can do as individuals and as a community to help break this cycle.

-Support victims and speak encouragement into their lives.
-Provide access to vital resources and other support services.
-Involve them in activities and let them see hope beyond their abusive relationship.
-Continue to offer support, encouragement, and help even if a person goes back.
-Help them rediscover the things they loved before their abusive relationship (hobbies, activities, etc.)

Want to learn more about why people go back to an abusive
relationship or what you can do to help victims become
survivors? Call us today at 402-375-5433.

After A Sexual Assault

It’s hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are after a sexual assault. Please know that you’re not alone. Below are some things to keep in mind. If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, call 911.

1) Your safety is important. Are you in a safe place? If you’re not feeling safe, consider reaching out to someone you trust for support. You don’t have to go through this alone.

2) What happened was not your fault. Something happened to you that you didn’t want to happen—and that’s not OK.

3) Contact Haven House at 1-800-440-4633. You’ll be able to speak to an advocate about what happened to you and all our services are free and confidential. Our advocates will listen to you, let you know what the available options are, allow you to make your own decisions, and be with you if you decide to seek medical attention or report to police.

4) Get proper medical attention. Whether or not you decide to
report to police, we suggest to get examed for potential STIs and
physical trauma. Haven House does have a variety of resources to help with medical costs associated with sexual assault exams. It is best not to shower or bath following a sexual assault, and to bring an extra set of clothes with you to the hospital. This will help preserve evidence if you decide to press charges against the rapist then or in the future.

When you call Haven House, a staff member will walk you through the process of getting help at your own pace. Our team of advocates can also accompany you to medical appointments or if you decide to report to police. Our offices also offer a confidential place to report to police so you won’t have to go to the police station.

You don’t have to walk through this alone.

*some information from

Late Life Domestic Violence

Article from the Administration on Aging

Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence, describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression (including coercive acts) by a current or former intimate partner and can occur across the lifespan to victims of all ages, including older adults. An intimate partner is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship that can be characterized by: emotional connectedness and regular contact; ongoing physical contact and sexual behavior; identity as a couple; and familiarity and knowledge about eachother’s lives. Perpetrators include spouses and former spouses, current or former partners, or another individual with whom the victim has an ongoing, personal relationship. The problem occurs in all communities, and affects people regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Although most victims are female, men can be harmed, too.

Generally, abusers use a pattern of coercive tactics, such as isolation, threats, intimidation, manipulation, and violence, to gain and maintain power over their victims. Often they tell their victims where they can go, whom they can see, and how they can spend their money—in other words, control their decisions. Some abusers use their role and power to financially exploit their victims. Others feel that they are entitled to get their way because they are the “head of the household,” or because they are younger and physically stronger than their victim is.

Some experts view late-life domestic violence as a sub-set of the larger elder abuse problem. Elder abuse, broadly defined, includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse, financial exploitation, neglect and self-neglect, and abandonment. The distinctive context of domestic violence in later life is the abusive use of power and control by a spouse/partner or other person known to the victim in a close, personal way.

Sometimes life changes as you grow older can lead to an increase in abuse in unhealthy relationships. There is no excuse for abuse. If you believe that you or someone you may know may be experiencing abuse in your relationship you can speak to an advocate today. All services are free and confidential and you get to make the decisions about your relationship.
Please call 1-800-440-4633.

5 Horrifying Child Abuse Cases

  1.  “Most Horrifying thing I’ve ever seen”

A 4-year-old, Teghan Skiba, was terrorized, tortured and tormented for 10 days in a shed behind her home by her mom’s boyfriend, Jonathan Douglas Richardson.  Teghan’s mom was away during this time for training with the army reserves.  When arrested, Richardson kept a smirk on his face and mocked officers by saying “what are y’all gonna do?  Tie me down and cut me up?”.

Teghan died three days after being admitted to the hospital.

Read the full news story here:


2.   An Urge Leads to Child Abuse

A Milwaukee man is accused abusing his child when he had an urge to squeeze the baby tightly, which resulted in her face turning red and eyes becoming bloodshot and several rib fractures.  He also had an urge and pushed his index finger all the way down the child’s through.

Read the full news story here:


3.  Found in the Freezer


In detroit, police were serving an eviction order and were clearing the apartment.  Inside of the freezer was a bag that included the bodies of two small children.  One was an 11-year-old boy and the other was a 14-year-old girl.

Read the full story here:

4.  Babysitter Texts Reveal Child Abuse


Ashley Dack always volunteered to help babysite people’s kids.  Everyone thought that Ashley was one of the best babysitters around and never imagined she could do such horrible things.  Dack would consistently send pictures and texts to her boyfriend, Patrick Schuneman, of her sexual assaults on the children she was babysitting.

Read the full story here:

5.  Eating Toothpaste to Stay Alive

torture - boy

Sharon Glass and Michael Marshall were arrested in March of 2012 for abusing Marshall’s 13-year-old son.  This case of abuse includes locking the boy up in closets and zip tie  him to his bed, starving him for days.  Glass could get more than 100 years in prison and Marhsall is facing 20 to 40 years in prison.

Read the full story here:

5 Reasons People Stay in Abusive Relationship


Often times looking from the outside in, it is easy to think “why do they stay in that relationship?!”.   Here are a few of the reasons and how you can help!  Let’s take a step into the shoes of those affected by domestic/dating violence.

  1. Hoping for change:

    If you have never been trained in the cycle of violence in relationships, it easy to hope that the situation will change and that the abuser will stop treating you badly.    However, more times than not, the abuser does not change and continues to escalate the cycle of violence.

  2. Thinking It’s Normal:

    If you grew up in a world where you only saw unhealthy relationships, then abuse would seem normal.  They may have never seen a healthy relationship and if they have they may not believe that they can achieve or deserve a healthy relationship.

  3. Dependence:

    One of the things that often occurs in abusive situations is that abusers will do what they can to exert control over the other.  This can be done by limiting access to funds, transportation, food and other items.  Places like Haven House are available all across the country, but sometimes those in abusive situations are unaware of the help that is available and the extent of help available.

  4. Nowhere to Go:

    Simply put, there are no friends or family to turn to for help.  Often times, for those who still have living family or friends they may not believe the survivor that they are experiencing abuse.

  5. Community Pressure:

    In many circles, leaving a relationship (even if abusive) is looked down on.  This not only friends and peers but also religious communities.  They would rather stay than be looked down with disdain.

So what can you do?

If someone you know is in an abusive relationship, listen to them and be supportive.  Don’t cast judgement on them.  For them leaving that relationship seems difficult and they knew good people who will help them out.

If you have questions or want to know more,  you can stop by one of our office locations to speak with an advocate.  We have a variety of tools that you can give your friend or family member that is experience abuse.  Our goal is to bring an end to domestic/dating/sexual violence in Northeast Nebraska and with your help we can!

Check out this more in depth article from Love is Respect.  View HERE.

6 Things to Take with you when escaping domestic violence

If you’re planning to get out of an abusive relationship, you may be wondering what are some things that you should take with you when escaping domestic violence. However, if you believe your safety will be at risk by collecting these items, don’t put yourself in jeopardy. Get out first.  Our team can always work with you  to provide other solutions for the items you were unable to obtain.   If you are able to collect these items safely then it’s a great idea.

  • Money – You can guess the importance of this. You’ll be able to use this for gas, food, living expenses, toiletries, etc.
  • Emergency Phone Numbers – have numbers of friends, family and trustworthy people so you can still contact them when you leave, even if you don’t have your cell phone.
  • Medications – Make sure that if you or your children are in need of certain medications to grab those, especially if they are necessary for life threatening conditions (insulin, heart medication, etc.)
  • Extra keys to your house and car – You may need to go back to your home (with an escort) to collect various items that you weren’t able to collect when initially leaving. This way, in case your former-partner is being uncooperative you can still easily gain access to both your house and vehicles (make sure your name is on the title if you take a vehicle).
  • Important papers – Be sure to take birth certificates, restraining orders, picture IDs and other important documents. Having these will allow you to more easily step into your new life and provide the necessary papers for legal documents.
  • Clothes for you and your children

Our suggestion when leaving a domestic violence situation is that you should seek out your local domestic violence advocacy agency. They will often times have many of the items that you’ll need in order to get your new life started.

Check out this article at what items that you won’t necessarily need when coming to Haven House:


6 Things That You Don’t Need to Pack when Coming to Haven House


Leaving a domestic violence situation can be often difficult and dangerous. However, you don’t deserve to be abused, and there is hope for a better life without abuse.

When leaving domestic violence, you may be tempted to pack up the whole house, but that is often not the case because you are often leaving as soon as the opportunity becomes available to.

So what are some items that you don’t have to worry about packing if you’re strapped on time and you’re heading to Haven House?

  • Clothing – At Haven House we have access to all the clothing that you’ll need for both yourself and your children (if you have kids). There have often been times when individuals have only escaped with the clothes on their back. Haven House also has brand new underwear too.
  • Toiletries – We have everything from toilet paper to diapers and toothpaste. You won’t have to go without in the area of hygiene.
  • Kitchen items – Our confidential shelters offer a fully stocked kitchen including everything from food to pots and pans.
  • Bedding – Our confidential shelters also offer comfortable beds and bedding for you and your children.
  • Laundry items – Our confidential shelters also have their own laundry rooms and detergent, etc.
  • Toys – If you have children, don’t worry about packing up all their toys. Our shelter locations have a variety of toys that you’re children will be able to play with.

One of our goals at Haven House is to help you on your way to a life without abuse, and we never want your safety to be in jeopardy, so we will do our utmost to make sure that you’re needs are met. If you can’t pack it, don’t worry about it, get to safety first.

If you are thinking of leaving a domestic violence situation, you can reach our team on our 24 Hour Crisis Line at 1-800-440-4633.

Not planning on coming to Haven House?  Check out this article on 6 items to pack up:

10 Signs to Get Out of That Relationship


10 Signs to Get OUT of that Dating Relationship!

1 in 3 young people (teenagers) will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.  This means that either you or someone you know is either currently involved in an abusive relationship or has been.  In dating relationships it is often thought that the behavior of the abusive partner will improve, but dating violence only increases as the relationship lengthens.

So what are some signs that you should get out of the relationship before it gets worse?

10.  Your boyfriend/girlfriend is often checking cell phones, emails or social networks without your permission.

9.  Exhibits extreme jealousy or insecurity.

8.  Constantly belittles you and puts you down (verbal abuse).

7.  Has an explosive temper (not only towards you but could directed at others).

6.  Isolates you from family and friends.

5.  Has erractic mood swings.

4.  Physically inflicts pain or hurts you in any way.

3.  Is constantly calling, texting or contacting you in a harassing manner.

2.  Repeatedly pressuring you to have sex or commit sexual acts.

1.  Makes false accusations.

If you notice 1 or many of these signs in your relationship it may be time to leave that relationship.  There’s no excuse for abuse and you don’t deserve to be abused.

You can speak with one of our team members today by calling our 24 Hour Crisis Line at 1-800-440-4633 or email us at  If you know someone who is experiencing dating violence you can also visit with one of our team members to find out what you can do to help your friend.