Know the potential warning signs of an abusive relationship

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – So far this year, over 33% of women in the state have been a victim of domestic violence, according to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence.

Men are not far behind at 28%.

Which is why here at home, Voices of Hope’s mission is so important.

Sexual Assault Services Coordinator Marla Sohl said it can be complex when determining what qualifies as domestic violence.

It rarely starts as a slap across the face or a hand around your throat. It can often be an insidious situation in which the abusive partner slowly tests the limits of how far they can go, leaving you to question whether the behavior qualifies as abuse.

Sohl listed “controlling behavior, having to know who you’re with, who you’re talking to on the phone, sharing passwords” as examples of red flags.

“Getting into the relationship very quickly would be another warning sign of an abusive relationship,” she said. “Somebody who isolates a person from their friends and family so they’re the only person they can rely on or have contact with and communication with.” 

The long-term effects of all forms of domestic violence include traumatic responses to future relationships and extend far beyond the abusive relationship.

“They question their own judgment, they oftentimes blame themselves for what they’ve experienced because they’re being told it’s they’re fault, you’re the reason I have to behave this way, you’re the reason that things are going bad in this relationship.”

So victims have a lot of self-doubt trying to figure out what they’ve done wrong and how they can fix it, Sohl said. 

Providing confidential 24/7 crisis intervention services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and related forms of abuse for over 47 years, Voices of Hope says it has taken over 8,000 crisis line calls within the last year and has served 2,500 victims.

If you or anyone you know is currently a victim of domestic violence or abuse, Voices of Hope encourages all to seek help:

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