Friday, April 15, 2016

Why am I Struggling to Move On After Abuse?

Leaving an abusive relationship can be one of the hardest things a person does. But even after your ex is out of your life, sometimes the emotional and mental effects from experiencing abuse can linger on. You may experience feelings of depression, guilt, anger, loss and even symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder:
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Being easily frightened or scared
  • Avoiding of stressful triggers that remind you of abuse
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships
  • Feeling emotionally numb
There is no one way to feel or heal after you leave an abusive relationship.
It may be hard to stop thinking about your old relationship. You may still think about the little comments that your ex said to break you down, make you feel worthless or to make you think that you didn’t deserve better. (Your ex was wrong by the way). You may even think about the nice things that they said and the good times that you had with them.
Being in an abusive relationship, or leaving and getting back together more than once (which is very common) can hurt your self-esteem and make you doubt yourself. If you’re feeling bad, you may even question your decision to leave in the first place. The important thing to remember is that you did leave and that took a lot of strength. Now it is time to channel your courage into healing and getting back to being a happy and healthy you.
The first step toward recovering from any type of traumatic experience is re-establishing your sense of safety. This means feeling confident that your ex won’t harm you anymore (whether that’s by cutting off contact, getting a protective order or even moving) and beginning to find stability in everyday life. Stability looks different for different people. Sometimes it’s just getting back into your school routine again. If you’re older, it can mean finding a steady job and feeling financially secure.
Second, give yourself some time to grieve. It’s normal to feel sad or angry for a while. It’s important to let yourself experience those feelings and to let them out, rather than bottling them up. There are lots of healthy ways you can do this — journaling, writing poetry or songs, creating art, exercising or dancing. In addition to being expressive, all of these activities can slowly help to restore your sense of power over your own life. They can remind you of your strengths and the beautiful things you are capable of creating.
Finally, you reconnect with ordinary life. It can be difficult to remember what life was like before an abusive relationship. You may feel emotionally closed off, and it can be hard to trust people again. Your ex-partner may have even physically isolated you from your friends and family, and you feel you have no one to turn to or that nobody could understand what you have been through.
There are always people to help. Remember that our advocates are available 24/7 for you.
You Deserve to Feel Great!
Although it may difficult, this is the time that you need to focus on you and your own happiness. You never did anything to cause this and you deserve to be happy and feel safe.
What you went through is not who you are.
Healing is a process and through it, you will remember how strong, capable and extraordinary you really are. You will have good and bad times, but every day free from abuse is another piece of yourself that you get back and, eventually, those pieces will come together.
"Cosmos Flowers" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by  TouTouke - Nightfox 
(Article reprinted from
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or dating violence, call the Sandhills Crisis Intervention Program at (877)836-6055 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800)799-7233.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Occurring today, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season. #GivingTuesday works to inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

Here are some ways you can participate in #GivingTuesday with SCIP: donate non-perishable, microwavable foods for emergency shelter, donate gently used furniture, volunteer your time to help sort donations or answer the crisis line,  Monetary donations are always accepted and appreciated.  Fore more information on how to make a monetary donations, please visit our website or call the office during regular office hours at (308)284-8477.

Without the goodness of our donors, victims of domestic and sexual violence wouldn’t have the chance to reclaim their lives as survivors. Your #GivingTuesday donation, like all donations, go towards providing direct client services such as emergency shelter, counseling, food assistance, baby supplies, household items, and transportation assistance to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Arthur, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Keith and Perkins counties.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

JOB OPENING! Traveling Client Advocate

Traveling Client Advocate

Individual needed to work directly with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Job duties include advocating for victims, collaborating with other agencies, securing space in each county to meet with clients and other duties as needed.   Qualified applicants are required to maintain absolute confidentiality, present professional written and verbal communication skills, be self-motivated, do daily travel and be available to be assigned rotating on-call shifts during the month.  Bachelor’s degree or 2 years of experience in the human services field preferred.  Individual must be able to pass a background check.  Position is 40 hours a week.  Benefits include paid sick, vacation, Holidays, on-call pay, mileage, paid employee vision & dental insurance and a health 125k plan.  Applicants who reside in Arthur, Deuel, Garden, Grant or Perkins County are desired.  

Send resume to:
            PO Box 22
            Ogallala, NE  69153

Deadline: Friday November 20, 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015

7 Things That Are Proven to End Domestic Violence

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic Licenseby  Helga Weber 
The Sandhills Crisis Intervention Program provides all of the services and resources listed in this article to victims and survivors in Keith, Deuel, Perkins, Grant, Garden and Arthur Counties in southwest Nebraska.  

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there has been a 63% reduction in incidents of domestic violence that do not result in death in the US since 1994. In addition, there was a 48% reduction in intimate partner homicides between 1976 and 2005. Clearly this is the direction we want to be moving. However, what's moving us in this direction? What's working?

Here are the top seven interventions that - according to research -- do work.

7 Things That Are Proven to End Domestic Violence

1. Domestic Violence Shelters
80 percent of victims staying in Safe Horizon shelters reported being choked or strangled by their abuser--they were in terrifying, life-threatening situations. Shelters offer a safe refuge for victims and their children, providing time for victims to think about options and rebuild their lives. Shelters have been found to reduce the frequency and intensity of ongoing violence and to decrease depression.

2. Orders of Protection (aka Restraining Orders)
What happens when the abuser won't stay away? An Order of Protection is a court order that typically requires the abuser to stay away from the victim. Orders of Protection can go further to require that the abuser turn in firearms, cover the rent, or pay to replace damaged possessions. It can even address child custody on a temporary basis. Research has found that orders of protection decrease the likelihood of repeat abuse.

3. Advocacy
Domestic violence can do damage in every area of a victim's life. Many victims need intensive help to get back on their feet. Domestic violence advocacy services focus on supporting victims in accessing social, medical, legal, and financial aid so that they can rebuild their lives. Studies reveal that recipients of advocacy experience less violence and have improved quality of life and social support.

4. Legal Representation and Advocacy
Navigating a challenging legal system can be daunting for anyone, let alone for someone in crisis. Free or low-cost legal representation and advocacy from professionals or paraprofessionals on criminal and civil legal matters are essential for victims. Evidence shows that victims that receive legal advocacy report a decrease in abuse experiences.

5. Hotlines
In moments of crisis, having someone ready to hear you and offer options can be lifesaving. Domestic violence hotlines provide support to victims around the clock, exploring risks, developing safety plans, and linking survivors to critical services.Victims report that calling a DV hotline helped them gain important information and resources and increased survivor's access to support.

6. Counseling
Domestic violence counseling provides a safe space for victims to talk about their abuse experiences helping them build confidence and hope. Research has found that recipients report that they feel more informed and supported, are better able to be self-sufficient, use coping skills, and improve their decision-making ability. With trauma-focused treatment, survivors experience relief from post-traumatic symptoms like nightmares and panic attacks.

7. Economic Empowerment
The majority of victims staying in Safe Horizon shelters were financially dependent on their abusers. Economic empowerment programs help victims of domestic violence learn how to manage their finances and develop financial plans. Research indicates that victims receiving these services have a better understanding of financial matters (like credit scores and managing a bank account), and they feel more confident about their ability to manage their money and plan for the future.

Whether staying or leaving, there are tremendous challenges. Research also bears out that making their own choices enables victims to feel empowered and more likely to follow-through with their decisions.
It's up to us all to keep domestic violence a social priority by pushing the discussion and by also supporting the solutions.

Help SCIP end domestic violence by volunteering or making a donation.
Call 308-284-8477 or stop by during regular office hours at 111 W. 3rd Street.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual violence, call SCIP's 24-hour hotline at 877-836-6055.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Your Friend is Abusing Their Partner - How to Talk to Your Friend

Last week, we discussed how to react when you find out that a close friend or family member is abusing their partner without shaming the victim.  The second part of the article "6 Ways to Confront Your Friend Who’s Abusing Their Partner" will help you navigate.  Talking to your friend about the abuse can be very difficult.  How you confront them could possibly escalate violence for their partner, so it is best to tread carefully.


How to Confront an Abusive Friend

1. Consult the Survivor

The most important aspect of any anti-abuse work, whether public or private, is to create space for survivors of abuse to empower themselves and make their own decisions.
More than therapists or social workers or activists, it is survivors who best understand the complexities and barriers of their relationships.
If you’re considering confronting a friend who’s abusing their partner, make sure that you contact the partner in question and get their consent whenever possible. They’ll be able to inform you about what’s appropriate, what would be helpful, and what might be dangerous for them.
Remember that it’s not your job to “rescue” anyone, but to help create options for them to choose from.
Starting the conversation with your friend’s partner can be awkward or difficult, but is often also extremely important – many survivors of abuse report wishing that someone had asked them if they were alright or if they needed help.
Conversation starters can be as simple and transparent as:
“Hey, how are you doing? I noticed that Aryn was pushing you at the party the other night, and I wanted to check in with you.”
We don’t have to talk about this if you don’t want to, but I just wanted to ask how things are in your relationship with Logan. Tell me if this is none of my business, but it seems like he isn’t always the nicest to you.”
“I might be completely misreading this situation, but I felt like it might be important to ask you how things are going with Alisha.”
There’s always the possibility that your friend’s partner won’t want to have the conversation with you, and that is their right.
Even if the question upsets them, however, I believe that it is worth taking the risk of momentary discomfort in order to let someone know that you see what is going on and are willing to support them. 

2. Consider Safety

No matter what the situation is, it’s always best practice to take a moment to think about safety: yours, your friend’s, and particularly your friend’s partner’s.
If you or the survivor of abuse believe that there is a risk of physical danger, then it might be important to postpone the confrontation with your friend or to make a safety plan first.
Safety plans vary, but usually include making sure that the person at risk has a place to stay, emergency money, and access to basic resources and human support.

3. Prepare Your Friend

“Surprise” confrontations and reality-TV style “interventions” that involve a lot of people and/or cameras usually go really, really, really badly. 
Do not surprise or overwhelm (read: gang up on) your friend, no matter how good your intentions are. On the other hand, it may be a good idea to choose one other person who is close to both of you to accompany you through the conversation. 
Let your friend know that that you want to talk to them about something important (or be even more explicit than that), and schedule a time and place that is comfortable for both of you. 

4. Have the Conversation

Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that telling your friend that you think that they’re abusing their partner is incredibly awkward, hard, and sad. There are few things I’ve done in my life that were harder. It’s possible that there is no “good” way.
Some suggestions I can make, however, include:
  • Speak from a place of loveExplain that the reason you’re having this conversation is because you care about your friend.
  • Own your words, feelings, and judgments. This often looks like using tentative phrases that begin with “I feel that,” “I could be wrong, but I think that,” “It seems to me like,” and so on.  It also means not speaking for the survivor of abuse unless they’ve asked you to.
  • Allow for pauses, gaps, and breaks in the conversation. Acknowledge that this is a dialogue that may have to take place over a few days, weeks, or even months.
  • Resist the urge to give your friend orders or ultimatumsPhrases like “You need to do _____,” “If you don’t stop____, then_____,” and “You have to ____” aren’t helpful. Analyzing their behavior (“Maybe this is because of your past traumatic relationships”) is probably also not that helpful. Instead, point out the behavior that you see as abusive, tell them that you think it isn’t acceptable, and let them draw their own conclusions.
Examples of ways to state that you think your friend is acting abusively include:
“I wanted to talk to you because I’ve seen you push and slap your boyfriend a few times now, and it makes me worried about both of you.”
“I know this is awkward, but I have to tell you that I am worried about the way you fight with Sabina. You’ve told her that you’ll hurt yourself if she breaks up with you, and I don’t think that’s okay.”
One of the most powerful things we can do as friends is hold up a mirror to each others’ behaviors: We show each other what the things we do look like from the outside.
In many cases, this alone is enough to make a huge difference in ending abuse.

5. Follow Up

It’s hard to predict how the conversation will go.
If your friend refuses to acknowledge that they’re being abusive, then it may take a long time, and many more conversations (they don’t all have to be with you) to get the point across. It may become necessary to prioritize supporting their partner instead, whether that means offering emotional care and/or helping them leave the relationship if that’s what they want. 
It’s equally likely, however, that your friend will appreciate your reaching out and might ask you to help them figure things out. Some things you can do in this case are helping connect them to local resources such as community organizations and mental health care. Often, creating support plans between informal networks of friends and acquaintances is also extremely helpful. 
I believe that working with perpetrators of intimate abuse is actually very similar to supporting abuse survivors in that agency is key.
Most people who act abusively do so because they are feeling out of control in some part of their lives, and helping restore that sense of empowerment can make an enormous difference.

6. Love Yourself

I mean this in the active sense: Do things that are self-loving.
Anti-abuse work is hard, unglamorous, and usually goes unpaid. Confronting abusive friends can be emotionally destabilizing and draining. It forces you to re-evaluate everything you know about yourself, about relationships, and the people around you. 
So ask for help. Feed yourself. Sleep. Drink water. Give yourself time to just rest and to feel.
And know that sometimes the hardest things you will ever do are also the most worthwhile.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cowboy Capital Chorus Shows Their Commitment and Support for SCIP

SCIP would like to send out a big thank you to the Cowboy Capital Chorus!  During the “Barbershop on Broadway” show they presented a check for $500 to SCIP’s Executive Director, Kat Bauer.  

We are so happy to have such a stand up group of men recognize the issue of domestic violence in our community and how it is directly related to a healthy and safe community for all who live here.  It is by bringing the topic of domestic violence and sexual assault to the foreground that we can finally work towards eliminating it through empowerment, education and social action.  Thank you Cowboy Capital Chorus!  

The services SCIP provides wouldn't be available without donations and support from our community!  Here are some examples of the essential services SCIP provided between 10/15/2014-7/31/2015:

  • SCIP has provided 195 people (89 women, 2 men, and 104 children) with assistance: average cost of $40.54/person.
  • SCIP provided 49 people received 72 nights of shelter:  average cost of $14.03/night.
  • SCIP provided 60 professional counseling sessions:  $50.00/session.
  • SCIP provided 543 meals for only $151.31!
You can learn more about the Cowboy Capital Chorus by visiting their website at