Raising domestic violence awareness following multiple shootings

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Experts warned that the pandemic could lead to an increase in domestic violence as people were stuck at home with their abusers. That trend is now being seen in central Nebraska in a devastating way, with multiple shootings in just the last week.

Domestic violence doesn’t have to look like a shooting or even involve the police. Sometimes it starts with something non-violent, such as a partner being controlling or trying to isolate you from friends and family.

“That’s often a red flag because abusers try to isolate the people they harming to keep them from getting help, to keep them from hearing ‘hey that’s not okay how he talks to you’ or ‘the way she talks about you is not okay,’” Jo Bair Springer, Executive Director of the enCourage Advocacy Center in Hastings, said.

She encourages people to look out for red flags and to meet with advocates at the first sign of harm.

“Often people are reluctant to contact us because they feel like they have to be ready to leave or have to want to contact law enforcement or get a protection order before they come,” Springer said. “But I recommend from the beginning folks reach out and we’re going to always support folks in making their own choices.”

A common scenario seen is men being violent towards women, but domestic violence can really happen to any gender at any time

“Domestic violence can happen to anyone,” Springer said. “There are a lot of different variables that can occur, but the common thing is when one partner is exerting power and control over the other partner.”

enCourage services are available to anyone in Adams, Nuckolls, Webster and Clay counties, but every county in Nebraska does have their own similar program.

For information to find resources near you, you can visit the Nebraska Coalition webpage.

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