Domestic Violence / Dating Violence

Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of race, economic status, sexual orientation, or where one lives. Relationships should be built on a foundation of respect and include qualities like honesty, openness, trust, support and understanding. Remember you have rights in a relationship.

What is Domestic Violence?

Any felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with who the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence law of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence of the jurisdiction.

Associated State of Nebraska Statute:

  • Statute 28-323 defines Intimate relationship as “a spouse; former spouse; person who have a child in common whether or not they have been married or lived together at any time; and persons who are or were involved in a dating relationship
  • Statute 42-903 defines Family and Household members as “spouse of former spouse, children, persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons who have a child in common whether or not they have been married or have lived together at any time, other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, and persons who are presently involved in a dating relationship.
  • Statute 42-903 defines abuse as “Attempting to cause or intentional and knowingly causing bodily injury with or without a dangerous instrument; or placing by means of credible threat, another person in fear of bodily injury. For purpose of this subdivision credible threat means a verbal or written threat, including a threat preformed through the use of an electronic communication device, or a threat implied by a pattern of conduct or a combination of verbal written, or electronically communicated statements and conduct that is made by a person with the apparent ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family or engaging in sexual contact or sexual penetration without consent.

What is Dating Violence?

Violence committed by a person (A) Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors;

  • The length of the relationship
  • The type of relationship
  • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

Associated State of Nebraska Statute:

  • Statutes 28-323 and 42-903 define a dating relationship as “Frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement, but does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary association between persons in a business or social context.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

  • Name calling, insults you or continually criticizes you
  • Humiliates you in public
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive
  • Tries to isolate you from family and friends
  • Constantly checks on you, monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Blames you for problems in the relationship
  • Does not want you to work
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money
  • Punishes you by withholding affection
  • Threatens to disclose a secret
  • Threatens suicide if you assert independence
  • Threatens to hurt you, your family or your pets

Signs of Physical Abuse

  • Damages property when angry (throws objects, punches walls, kicks doors)
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or strangled you
  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place
  • Scared you by driving recklessly
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you
  • Forced you to leave your home
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving
  • Prevented you from calling the police or seeking medical attention
  • Hurt or threatened or hurt someone you care about
  • Used physical force in sexual situations

What to do if you are in a relationship involving domestic or dating violence

  • If you are in IMMEDIATE DANGER, call 911
  • Go to a safe place
  • Seek medical assistance if needed
  • Preserve any physical evidence of the violence. If the crime occurred in your home do not clean or straighten until the police have had an opportunity to collect evidence.
  • Report the offense to campus or local police. If an individual needs assistance in notifying authorities, University officials will assist them in doing so. 
  • Call a friend, a family member, or someone else you trust and ask him or her to stay with you. Let your friends know how they can help you.
  • Talk with a confidential advocate who is trained to assist with dating/domestic violence.  Advocates are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
    • Students can contact; Women’s Center at (308) 865-8248, Counseling Care at (308) 865-8248 (24/7), or contact your local counselor.
    • Employees can contact Best EAP at (800) 666-8606 or contact your local counselor
    • For additional resources go here
  • Develop a SAFETY PLAN. Include things like changing your routine, arranging place to stay, and having a friend go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the offender shows up at your residence, classroom, work or somewhere else.  Women’s Center, Counseling Care or the S.A.F.E. Center can assist you in developing a safety plan
  • Consider getting a COURT ORDER/PROTECTIVE ORDER that tells the offender to stay away from you. Women’s Center, Counseling Care or the S.A.F.E. Center can assist you in filling out the paperwork
  • File a complaint with the University
    • For Students contact
      • Title IX Coordinator, Director Human Resources, Founders Hall #1200, (308) 865-8388
      • UNK Senior Student Affairs Officer (Dean), Memorial Student Affairs Building, #180, (308) 865-8528
      • Associate Dean : Conrad Hall, (308) 865-8519
      • Associate Director Residence Life: Conrad Hall, (308) 865-8519
    • For Employees contact
      • Title IX Coordinator, Director Human Resources, Founders Hall #1200, (308) 865-8388
  • Students and Employees who are in domestic/dating violence situations have access to University assistance in changing academic, living, working and transportation situations after an alleged incident. If the request is made by the student, employee or complainant and if such changes are reasonably available, accommodations to minimize burden on the student or employee

How Can I Assist a Friend?

  • If your friend tells you they are in a violent relationship: Believe them. Your friend needs to be believed and supported. Let them know it’s not their fault. It is never the fault of the victim. These offenses have nothing to do with the victim's behavior, actions or the reality of the situation.
  • Support and understanding are essential. These offenses can cause depression, anxiety, headaches, stomach problems, sleeping problems etc… Let your friend talk as much as or as little as they need to. It is important you listen and believe them.
  • Do not respond to the offender. Any response from you can be misinterpreted and may even encourage the offender. Contact with the offender can put you or your friend in further danger.
  • Advise your friend to keep evidence and to document everything. You can also document any related incidence that you witness. Tell your friend to keep a log of the time, date, place and other details they may find of importance. Tell them to keep all e-mails, phone messages, letters, notes or social media messages. Tell them to photograph any damages to their personal possessions and any injuries they may have incurred.
  • Respect Privacy. Offenders can be very clever about getting information so do not give any information out about your friend, no matter what the offender or their associates might say.
  • Help them feel safe. Offer to spend time with your friend so they do not have to be alone.
  • Refer your friend to the Women’s Center, Counseling Care, S.A.F.E. Center, University or local Law enforcement. They can assist you in helping your friend devise a personal safety plan, provide support and advocacy, provide them with information about local laws and University policies, investigate and prosecute the offense. These resources can assess the situation and refer your friend to counseling, legal aid, provide an escort on campus and they can be a safe place on campus where their needs will be heard and responded to. Resources
  • Get Support for Yourself. Sometimes the friends of victims can also feel the impact of the crime and experience emotional and physical reactions. This is called secondary victimization. Hearing about these offenses can be upsetting. You may feel angry, sad, frustrated and helpless. If you have experienced crime or other traumatic events in the past, your friend’s experience might bring up memories and feelings from that time. You may want to talk about your feelings but also respect your friend’s privacy. You can contact the Women’s Center, Counseling Care or S.A.F.E Center to speak to an advocate confidentially. Resources
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