• March/April 2001
  • Vol. 2, No. 2

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Nebraska Group Addresses Needs of Children Subjected to Domestic Violence

The Nebraska Health and Human Services System has been working with two other agencies--Voices for Children and the Nebraska Domestic Violence Coalition--to collaborate and improve the system for children and victims. The working group has agreed on the following four principles to guide interventions:

  • To protect children.
  • To increase the safety and well-being of children by increasing the safety of their mothers.
  • To support the autonomy of adult victims so they can be in control of protecting their children as much as possible.
  • To hold the batterer responsible for abusive behavior and for stopping it.

Chris Hanus, with the Protection and Safety Division of the Nebraska HHS said it is not up to the victim to be accountable for the abuse or for making it stop, but rather the court's decision to weigh the need for the child to retain a connection to both parents against the need for the child's safety. The group has debated such issues as redefining the witnessing of domestic violence as child abuse if the child shows serious mental or behavioral reactions that can be verified by a licensed mental health practitioner.

For more information, contact:

Chris Hanus
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 95044
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5044
Phone: 402-471-9308
Fax: 402-471-9034
Email: chris.hanus@hhss.state.ne.us

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