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Before She Knew It


We provide free presentations and assembly programs for area schools and speak to students about dating violence. Deborah, one of our
volunteer speakers, often comes along to speak about the abusive
relationship she was in. During her story she talks about how she didn’t even realize she was in an abusive relationship, until someone from outside of the situation was honest with her and made here aware all the signs were characteristic of an abusive relationship.

Before she knew it, she was in an abusive relationship and didn’t realize it because she was not aware of the signs of an unhealthy relationship. Without knowing the signs of an unhealthy relationship, both men and women can end up in abusive relationships. Many simply think it is the
personal dynamics of their own relationship and not abuse.

Knowing the signs can help a person identify an unhealthy relationship. Some of these are warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, precursors to domestic violence.

  • Checking your cell phone or email without permission
  • Constantly putting you down
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Explosive temper
  • Isolating you from family or friends
  • Making false accusations
  • Mood swings
  • Physically hurting you in any way
  • Possessiveness
  • Telling you what to do
  • Pressuring or forcing you to have sex

Take a relationship quiz to see how your relationship ranks at

information in part from

Dating Violence: The Silent Abuse

dating violence
*Written by Jessica Wilson (A Haven House Volunteer)*

Imagine being called stupid and worthless, everyday, every time you do something. Imagine being in public while being yelled at and getting called names. A victim feels as if they have two choices: either sit there and continue being yelled at, or listen to the abuser and obey their threats. Imagine always feeling like you want to disappear or you have to “watch your back.” Victims feel most alone at those exact times.

Did you know that females between 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of dating violence? 1 in 4 teens in a relationship say they have been called names, harassed, or belittled. Dating violence involves a pattern of behavior in which one person uses threats, or physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse to control his/her partner. Most people don’t realize how common dating violence actually is. It doesn’t always happen immediately and sometimes signs are hard to see or notice, especially when you are the one in the situation. Victims of dating violence believe that the abuse is normal (usually because their friends are being abused too). Victims also believe that their partner’s jealousy and possessiveness is “romantic.” This is because the attention they receive from those actions, even though it is in a negative manner. An abuser believes that they have the right to control their partners, demand intimacy, and that they may lose respect if they are attentive and supportive toward their significant other. Not only is dating violence detrimental to someone, it can also increase one’s risk of substance abuse, suicide, sexual risk behaviors, or unhealthy weight.

Red Flags of Dating Violence
-Extreme Jealousy
-Controlling behavior
-Verbal abuse
-Alcohol/drug abuse
-Use of force in arguments
-Blaming others for own problems

There are many do’s and don’ts when assisting someone in need. Most people don’t realize their comments or judgments towards the victim might only influence or hurt them more. Anyone can be a victim.

Things You Can “Do” to Help Dating Violence Victims
-Let them know that no one deserves to be abused
-Let them know they’re not alone
-Express concern for their safety
-Help them find support

One of the most common questions people ask is “Why don’t they leave?” Leaving is not only scary, but can also be dangerous. That is why the “do’s” are so important. While following the “do’s”, be very cautious not to tell the victim what to do. In order to stay safe, there are safety plans for dating violence. These plans include but are not limited to: knowing signs of abuse and watching for them, saving messages on cell phones of the threatening behavior, avoiding drinking and drug use, and having a support system.

Haven House Receives A Used Car

With 2016 almost finished, and 2017 close on its heels, Haven House received a wonderful donation of a used car to aid one of their clients. Haven House offers free & confidential services for individuals affected by domestic & sexual violence.  Haven House services the 5 Counties of Northeast Nebraska, including Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Thurston, & Wayne Counties.

“The donation of this car comes at a pivotal time for one of our clients.  This will help them as they reestablish their life.  It will help them get to their job, doctors visits, and other critical appointments.  We are so thankful for this donation and all of our donors.”  Amy Munderloh, the new director of Haven House said.

Haven House is a registered non-profit and all donations to Haven House are tax-deductible.   If you are desiring to donate monetarily or with used cars or other types of materials, feel free to contact Haven House to find out what we are in need of.  Call us at 402-375-5433 or visit online at

new car haven house

5 Rape Deterrent Tools

Rape is never the fault of the survivor.  However, there are things that you can do to help protect yourself and defend from a potential attack.  Here are 5 interesting tools that we found from the corners of the internet to help you defend from a potential attack.



  • The Defender (Bluetooth pepper spray)

Talk about an all-in-one device.  This device not only includes your typical pepper spray but also includes a camera, siren, gps, and Bluetooth.  When used the camera will immediately snap a picture of your attacker and send it to the 24/7 monitoring service, which will alert the authorities and send help to your gps location.  It will simultaneously sound a siren to attract attention, and douse your attacker in pepper spray.

Learn more here:



  • Anti-Rape Belt Buckle

This belt buckle is designed to be difficult in taking off and will require two hands to unbuckle.  This will act as a deterrent and will also a person more time to react when they are attacked.

Check it out here:



  • Self-Protection Alarm

Need a quick way to make an attacker think twice and draw attention to a potentially hostile situation.  Press the alarm button and this device will project an alarm at 130 decibels.  It can be easily put on a ring with your car keys for easy access.

Shop for one here:



  • Date Rape Nail Polish

This product is still in the development stages, but this nail polish aims to alert individuals to possible date rape drugs that may have been put into your drink.  You simply submerge your fingernail in your drink (not necessarily proper etiquette), but if date rape drugs have been placed in your drink, your fingernail polish will turn colors.

Learn more by visiting their facebook page:



  • Date Rape Cups,  Straws, and coasters

Working similar to the date rape nail polish, there a cups, straws & coasters that will change colors when date rape drugs are detected in your drink.

Learn more about these products: or

¡5 Casos Horrorosos de Violencia Domestica!

¡5 Casos Horrorosos de Violencia Domestica!

Opinion - Domestic Violence/Bullying


  1. Lancaster, Texas

En el 2013, José Arreola fue sentenciado 28 años en prisión por su crimen en contra de María Escamilla. En el 2011, José y María Vivian juntos cuando sucedió ese caso de violencia de domestica. José golpeo, puñaleo, y mútulo a María. María fue violada, sodomizada, y cortada de la cara, boca, piernas y órganos sexuales.

Lea la historia completa (la historia completa disponible en ingles)


  1. El Terror de el Agua Hirviendo

Suzanne Thomas, una mujer de 32 años de edad empezó una relación con un hombre conocido como Jasón. Al inicio todo iba de maravilla y los dos estaban muy contentos con su relación. En el 2013, Suzanne invito a Jasón a mudarse a su casa. Esta decisión no resultó tan buena como ella esperaba. Peleaban mas de lo platicaban. Enseguida, durante una discusión Jasón aventó a Suzanne en contra de la pared dándose un golpe en la cabeza. El Simplemente le dijo, ‘”perdóname Suzanne,” y prometió no hacer nada similar de nuevo. Suzanne vivía constantemente con miedo así que le pidió a Jasón que se mudara de la casa. Jasón asedio, empaco una maleta y dijo que después regresaría por el resto de sus cosas. Esa tarde Suzanne fue a casa de su amiga, esa noche al llegar, Jasón la estaba esperando. A punto de cuchillo, forzó su entrada a la casa donde el después procedió a  pisotearle la cabeza y cara hasta que perdiera conciencia. Cuando Suzanne despertó, Jasón estaba parado sobre ella con una caldera de agua hirviendo y procedió a verterlo  sobre Suzanne. Jasón intento a verterle una segunda caldera pero fue interrumpido con la llegada de las autoridades.

Lea la historia completa (la historia completa disponible en ingles)


    1. Irreconocible

La esposa de Keith Allen McGill de 45 años de edad, estaba trabajando en casa cuando su esposo llego a casa en estado de ebriedad.  McGill llegó a casa después de beber con su amigo y estrello con la puerta lo cual tumbo la puerta de sus goznes. McGill procedió a puñalear y a patalear a su esposa. También le pisoteo la espalda, la cual le acababan de operar.   El ataque no acabo allí. McGill la golpeó con una lámpara arrancándole el cuero cabelludo, la quemo con un cigarrillo, y golpeó con un cinturón. Después la estrangulo y  atacó con un cuchillo. McGill también amenazó con matarla y trató de arrancarle la lengua. Esta brutalidad se detuvo cuando el vecino que estaba bebiendo con McGill intervino y distrajo al marido el tiempo suficiente para que la esposa de McGill pudiera escapar. Las heridas eran tan graves que la Subprocuradora del Condado Ann-Marie McKittrick, dijo que su rostro estaba irreconocible.

Lea la historia completa (la historia completa disponible en ingles)

      1. 15 años Cautiva

Mary Clemens, ahora de 40 años de edad recuerda su matrimonio de 15 años donde fue abusada constantemente y mantenida cautiva. Durante esos 15 años Mary fue amordazada, amarrada golpeada, desnudada en el bosque, perseguida con un auto, amenazada con un arma de fuego, cuchillo puesto su garganta, asfixiada, encerrada, y mucho más. Después de ocho intentos María Clemens finalmente lo dejo definitivamente, después de 7 horas de haber sido asfixiada, golpeada y luego violada para obtener “sexo de reconciliación”.

Lea la historia completa (la historia completa disponible en ingles)


      1. Muerta a puñaladas

Alan Clinch de 49 años de edad fue apuñalado con tijeras después de una discusión con su esposa sobre la limpieza en el 2012. Alan es uno de los hombres víctimas de la violencia doméstica. Un reporte del CDC del 2010 reporto que en el plazo de un año más de 5 millones de hombres habían sido víctimas de violencia física infligida por la pareja.

Lea la historia completa (la historia completa disponible en ingles)




5 Horrifying Domestic Violence Cases

5 Horrifying Domestic Violence Cases

Opinion - Domestic Violence/Bullying

  • Lancaster, TX

In 2013, Jose Arreola was sentenced to 28 years in prison for his crimes against Maria Escamilla.  In 2011, Jose & Maria were living together when this case of domestic violence occurred.  Jose had beaten, stabbed and mutilated Maria.  Maria had been raped, sodomized and cut on her face, mouth, limbs, and sexual organs.

Read the full story here:

  • Boiling Water Horror

Suzanne Thomas, a 32 year old woman, entered into a relationship with a man known as Jason.  When they were initially dating, things were great, and both were very happy with their relationship.  In 2013, Suzanne invited Jason to move into her house.  This decision did not turn out as good as she though it would.  They began to fight and bicker more than they would talk.  Soon, during one of their arguments, Jason had shoved Suzanne into a wall, smashing her head into a wall, and simply said “Sorry Suzanne” and promised to never do anything like that again.  Suzanne was constantly living in fear and asked Jason to move out.  Jason complied and packed a bag, and said he’d come back later for the rest of his stuff.  Suzanne went out with her friends that evening, and when she returned late that evening, Jason was waiting for her.  He forced himself into her house at knifepoint, where he then proceeded to  stomp on her head and face until she lost consciousness.  When Suzanne woke back up, Jason was standing over her with a kettle of boiling water and proceeded to pour it onto Suzanne.  Jason then attempted to pour a second kettle but was interrupted when police busted through the door.

Read the full story here:

  • Unrecognizable

The wife of Keith Allen McGill, a 45 year old individual, was just working at home, when her husband came in a drunken state to their house.  McGill came home after drinking with his friend and crashed through front door and knocked it off its hinges.  McGill proceed to punch and kick his wife and even stomped on her back, which she recently had surgery on.  The attack didn’t stop there.  McGill struck her with a lamp and tore her scalp, burned her with a cigarette, beat her with a belt, then choked and attacked her with a knife.  McGill also threatened to kill her and attempted to rip her tongue out of her mouth.  This brutality was only stopped when the neighbor that was drinking with McGill intervened and distracted the husband long enough for McGill’s wife to escape.  The wounds were so severe that the Deputy County Attorney, Ann-Marie McKittrick, said that her face was unrecognizable.

Read the full story here:

  •  15 years a captive

Mary Clemons, now 40 years old, recalls her 15 year marriage, where she was constantly abused and held captive.  During these 15 years, Mary has been gagged, tied up, beaten, stripped naked in the woods, chased with a car, guns pulled on her, knives held to her throat, been suffocated, locked and up all day, and so much more.  Mary Clemons finally left for good, after her eighth time of leaving, after 7 hours of being suffocated and beaten and then raped for “make-up sex”.

Read her full story here:

  • Stabbed to Death

Alan Clinch, a 49 year old male, was stabbed with scissors after an argument with his wife about cleaning in 2012.  Alan is one of the male victims of domestic violence where the male was the victim and not the perpetrator.  In a 2010, CDC report, in a year’s time over 5 million men had been victims of intimate partner physical violence.

Read more about it here:

10 Verdades Asombrosas sobre la Agresión Sexual


  1. El 44% de las víctimas son menores de 18 años

  2. El 80% de las victimas son menores de 30 años

  3. Cada 107 segundos, otro estadounidense es agredido sexualmente.

  4. El 68% de las agresiones sexuales no son reportadas a las autoridades.

  5. El 98% de los violadores nunca pasaran un día en la cárcel o prisión.

  6. Aproximadamente 4 de cada 5 agresiones sexuales son cometidos por alguien que la víctima conoce.

  7. El 47% de los violadores son un amigo o conocido.

  8. En 1993, alrededor de 9.7 millones de estadounidenses fueron agredidos sexualmente. Debido al trabajo arduo de aumentar concienciación para poner fin a la violencia sexual, en los últimos 20 años, esto ha disminuido a 4.2 millones. Esto es muy bueno, pero todavía hay un largo camino por recorrer para poner fin a la violencia sexual.

  9. Alrededor del 3% de los hombres estadounidenses (o 1 de cada 33) ha intentado o ha cometido una violación en su vida.

  10. Cada 8 minutos, servicios de protección infantil responde a una denuncia de abuso sexual.

      Puede encontrar estas estadísticas en

10 Astonishing Sexual Assault Facts


  1. 44% of victims are under age 18

  2. 80% of victims are under age 30

  3. Every 107 Seconds, another American is sexually assaulted.

  4. 68% of sexual assaults are not reported to police.

  5. 98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail or prison.

  6. Approximately 4/5 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.

  7. 47% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.

  8. In 1993, about 9.7 million Americans were sexually assaulted.  Due to the hard work of raising awareness and ending sexual violence, in the last 20 years, this has declined to 4.2 million.  That is a great thing to see, but we still have a long way to go to end sexual violence.

  9. About 3% of American men (or 1 in 33) have experienced either attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

  10. Every 8 minutes, child protective services responds to a report of sexual abuse.

These facts are from

8 Señales de que Su hijo(a) esta sufriendo de Violencia en el Noviazgo


Como padre, uno nunca sueña o espera que su hijo(a) entre en una relación abusiva. Sin embargo, cada año 1.5 millones de estudiantes de secundaria a nivel nacional sufren una experiencia de violencia física en el noviazgo. Así que es muy probable que su hijo(a) o alguien que usted conozca ha sufrido una experiencia de violencia en su noviazgo. Es mejor equiparse con el conocimiento sobre las señales que siempre están presentes y acompañan una relación abusiva.

Aquí hay algunas de las señales por las cual hay que mantenerse al tanto.

  1. La pareja de su hijo(a) es extremadamente celoso o posesivo
  2. Usted nota marcas o moretones inexplicables
  3. La pareja de su hija(a) manda correos electrónicos o textos de manera excesiva
  4. Usted nota que su hijo(a) esta deprimido(a) o ansioso(a)
  5. Su hijo(a) deja de participar en actividades extracurriculares u otros actividades de interés
  6. Su hijo(a) deja de pasar tiempo con otros amigos y familia
  7. La pareja de su hijo(a) lastima a otras personas o animales
  8. Su hijo(a) empieza a vestir de otra manera

(Señales de parte de

Aprenda mas sobre la violencia en el noviazgo en