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What Is Domestic and Sexual Violence?

Domestic and Sexual Violence (DSV) is a collection of behaviors by a perpetrator used to exert power and control over their victim. These behaviors disproportionately effect women across all socio-economic backgrounds. Programs and services to support survivors are provided by the federal Violence Against Women Act, as well as state and private resources. Criminal acts that stem from DSV are defined by Nebraska Statutes.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

  • Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.
  • Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.
  • Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.
  • Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.
  • Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include  - but are not limited to - causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

Domestic Assault

The crime of Domestic Assault, as outlined in §28-323, includes:

  • Intentionally and knowingly causing bodily injury to his or her intimate partner
  • Threatening an intimate partner with imminent bodily injury
  • Threatening an intimate partner in a menacing manner

Domestic Assault is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, but can escalate to a Felony in a variety of circumstances, including the use of a weapon or causing serious bodily injury.


Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Stalking can include:

  • Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications from the perpetrator by phone, mail, and/or email.
  • Repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers.
  • Following or laying in wait for the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreation place.
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim's children, relatives, friends, or pets.
  • Damaging or threatening to damage the victim's property.
  • Harassing the victim through the internet.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Obtaining personal information about the victim by accessing public records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the victim's garbage, following the victim, contacting victim's friends, family work, or neighbors, etc.

Stalking is outlined in §28-311.02 to §28-311.05 and is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, but can escalate to a Felony in a variety of circumstances, including subsequent convictions and if the victim is under the age of 16.


Strangulation is the act of applying external force that results in restriction of oxygen intake and blood flow to the brain.

Strangulation is a powerful method of coercion and control; it’s an expression of abusers’ ability and willingness to take their victims’ lives at any time.

Quick Facts About Strangulation:

  • Strangulation can render a victim unconscious in seconds.
  • Strangulation blocks veins and arteries in the neck so that oxygenated blood cannot flow to the brain and deoxygenated blood cannot flow from the brain.
  • It takes just 11 pounds of pressure to cut off blood flow.
  • Temporary or permanent brain damage can occur in as little as 30 seconds; brain death can occur in four to five minutes.
  • The seriousness of strangulation is a common precursor to further lethal violence.
  • Victims of strangulation can suffer permanent trachea damage, soft tissue damage, seizures, or changes in behavior. Internal injuries caused by strangulation can become life threatening days after the incident. Despite its lethality, strangulation may leave no visible injuries.

The crime of strangulation, as per §28-310.01, is a Felony.

Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence an overarching term that includes an array of behaviors, both physical and non-physical, that constitute unwanted or age-inappropriate sexual activity that can impact people of any age or gender. This can range from attitudes of sexism, to social oppression through sexual harassment, to crimes of rape and homicide.

Sexual Violence is rooted in power inequities, and is connected to other forms of oppression that value certain people or groups over others. Perpetrators of sexual violence use force, threats, manipulation and coercion to harm their victims. Social norms that condone the use of violence, promote using power to control others, and compel survivors to remain silent about or recant their experience, contribute to their social context the surrounds sexual violence.

Sexual Assault

The crime of Sexual Assault, as outlined in §28-317 to §28-322.04, can occur in many different contexts. The unifying elements include sexual contact without consent. Consent cannot by given by some individuals due to their age, temporary or permanent cognitive limitation, or due to their confinement.

Sexual Assault is generally a Felony, with the exception of incidents that do not cause serious personal injury to the victim are a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to millions of people around the world. And no matter where you live, chances are it's happening nearby. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom.

Sex Trafficking & Labor Trafficking

Sex Trafficking is the act or attempt of recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for the purpose of commercial sexual activity, sexually explicit performance, or the production of pornography.

Labor Trafficking is the act or attempt of recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining  a person for the purpose of forced labor or services.

Human Trafficking crimes are outlined in §28-830 to §28-831. All forms of human trafficking are Felonies, and penalties escalate if the victim is a minor.


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