Category Archives: Domestic Violence

Dating Violence: 10 Warning Signs

Many of the domestic violence survivors that walk through the doors of Haven House visit with us about how it all began.
Saying they wish they knew in their dating years what they know now.

The reason survivors say this is because when they look back on their relationship they see all the signs of an unhealthy relationship. Unhealthy relationships often escalate into domestic violence and sometimes can even turn deadly. The key is to know and then heed the warning signs.

10 Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

  1. INTENSITY: Having really extreme feelings or over-the-top behavior that feels like too much. Examples are rushing the pace of a relationship, always wanting to see you and talk to you, and feeling like someone is obsessed with you.
  2. JEALOUSY: An emotion that everyone experiences, jealousy becomes unhealthy when someone lashes out or tries to control you because of it. Examples can be getting upset when you text or hang out with people your partner feels threatened by, accusing you of flirting or cheating, being possessive over you or even going so far as to stalk you.
  3. MANIPULATION: When a partner tries to influence your decisions, actions or emotions. Manipulation is not always easy to spot, but some examples are convincing you to do things you wouldn’t normally feel comfortable with, ignoring you until they get their way, and using gifts and apologies to influence your decisions or get back in your good graces.
  4. ISOLATION: Keeping you away from friends, family, or other people. Examples can be when your partner makes you choose between them and your friends, insisting you spend all your time with them, making you question your own judgement of friends and family, and making you feel dependent on them for money, love or acceptance.
  5. SABOTAGE: Purposely ruining your reputation, achievements or success. Examples can be making you miss work, school or practice, keeping you from getting school work done, talking about you behind your back or starting rumors, and threatening to share private information about you.
  6. BELITTLING: Making you feel bad about yourself. Examples can be calling you names, making rude remarks about who you hang out with, your family or what you look like, and making fun of you – even if it’s played off as just a joke.
  7. GUILTING: Making you feel guilty or responsible for your partner’s actions. Examples can be making you feel responsible for their happiness, making you feel like everything is your fault, threatening to hurt themselves or others if you don’t do as they say or stay with them,or pressuring you to do anything sexual you’re not comfortable with.
  8. VOLATILITY: Unpredictable overreactions that make you feel like you need to walk on eggshells around them or do things to keep them from lashing out. Examples can be mood swings, losing control of themselves by getting violent or yelling, threatening to hurt you or destroy things, and making you feel afraid of them. This can also be lots of drama or ups and downs in a relationship.
  9. DEFLECTING RESPONSIBILITY: Making excuses for their behavior. Examples can be blaming you, other people or past experiences for their actions, using alcohol or drugs as an excuse, using mental health issues or past experiences (like a cheating ex or divorced parents) as a reason for unhealthy behavior.
  10. BETRAYAL: When your partner acts differently with you versus how they act when you’re not around. Examples can be lying to you, purposely leaving you out or not telling you things, being two-faced, acting differently around friends, or cheating while in a relationship with you.

Do you see those warning signs in your relationship? Call and speak to one of our advocates today at 1-800-440-4633. It’s free. It’s confidential.

These signs were provided by One Love Foundation:

12 Steps to Protect Your Finances When Leaving an Abusive Relationship

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:


Haven House has been providing free and confidential services to
domestic violence and sexual assault survivors since 1978. 
This includes everything from providing a safe place to stay in our emergency shelter
to helping survivors reestablish their own households.

We can only do what we do, because of the support of great people like you. 
Would you help us to help survivors and consider donating $5, $10, or $20?

Thank you.


Other Articles

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


Haven House has been providing free and confidential services to
domestic violence and sexual assault survivors since 1978. 
This includes everything from providing a safe place to stay in our emergency shelter
to helping survivors reestablish their own households.

We can only do what we do, because of the support of great people like you. 
Would you help us to help survivors and consider donating $5, $10, or $20?

Thank you.


Other Articles

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.


Haven House has been providing free and confidential services to
domestic violence and sexual assault survivors since 1978. 
This includes everything from providing a safe place to stay in our emergency shelter
to helping survivors reestablish their own households.

We can only do what we do, because of the support of great people like you. 
Would you help us to help survivors and consider donating $5, $10, or $20?

Thank you.


Other Articles

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.


Haven House has been providing free and confidential services to
domestic violence and sexual assault survivors since 1978. 
This includes everything from providing a safe place to stay in our emergency shelter
to helping survivors reestablish their own households.

We can only do what we do, because of the support of great people like you. 
Would you help us to help survivors and consider donating $5, $10, or $20?

Thank you.


Other Articles

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.

5 Horrifying Domestic Violence Cases

  • 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:





Haven House has been providing free and confidential services to
domestic violence and sexual assault survivors since 1978.
This includes everything from providing a safe place to stay in our emergency shelter
to helping survivors reestablish their own households.

We can only do what we do, because of the support of great people like you.
Would you help us to help survivors and consider donating $5, $10, or $20?

Thank you.






Other Articles

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.