Dating/Domestic Violence
November 2010

Young women today between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of relationship violence, whether physical, emotional or financial. Surveys have shown that 1 in 5 high school girls are the victims of some kind of physical or sexual abuse by a dating partner. Unfortunately, the majority of the adults in these young women’s lives, including their parents, are unaware of the abuse.

 

It is estimated that there are 50,000 to 60,000 domestic violence victims per year in Nebraska and an average of three people in Lincoln every day who are arrested for assault of a partner. There are many who are never arrested or assaults of a physical, verbal and/or emotional nature that are not reported. Nationally, about 75 percent of the deaths related to domestic abuse occur when the woman is either separated from or has left the abuser.* The recent deaths of two young Lincoln women at the hands of former partners highlight the serious need to educate our community about the consequences of domestic violence.

 

As a response to the severity of this problem, the Nebraska Legislature passed the Lindsay Burke Act. Lindsay Burke, a 23-year old young woman from Rhode Island, was killed in 2005 by an ex-partner. Having had no previous information on dating violence, her family and friends began working toward getting legislation passed in all states. The Nebraska law states that as of July 1, 2010, all Nebraska public schools had to have a policy in place dealing with educating young people and the adults that work with them on dating violence. Lincoln Public Schools has instituted educational programs for both staff and students regarding dating violence: what it is, how to recognize it and what to do if one suspects abuse. On a recent Women Talk program, Sue Andersen from Voices of Hope and Susan Bond, an LPS School Social Worker, talked candidly about the dangers of dating violence, its prevalence in our community and how adults should respond.

 

The Mayor’s Commission on Women will continue to highlight this issue and support education and outreach related to dating and domestic violence. “Dating Violence,” our Women Talk program can be seen on City TV/Channel 5. Listed below are websites with more information.

 

www.voicesofhopelincoln.org

www.loveisnotabuse.com

www.respect2all.org

www.loveisrespect.org

www.breakthecycle.org

 

*US Department of Justice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Watch the Feburary 16, 2011 Mayor's News Conference