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Domestic Abuse and Protection Orders

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of size, gender, or strength, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Emotional abuse is often minimized, yet it can leave deep and lasting scars.

Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.

Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused—especially verbally and emotionally, although sometimes even physically as well. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult.

An experienced and trusted attorney will help clients get the help they need to move on from an abusive relationship. There is help available. If abuse or an accusation of abuse is an issue in your family, secure the legal protection you need in order to move forward with confidence. If you or your child is in danger from a relative or member of your household, we urge you to take measures immediately to prevent continued abuse. Vervaecke Law and Mediation will file for a protection order and help you find the resources you need to protect your child.

A domestic violence protection order can be issued against a present or former wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend; against the unmarried parent of your child; or against a person living in your household or who lived with you in the past and against a relative by blood or by marriage.

According to Nebraska law, a protection order can:

  • Order the named abuser to desist from restraining, threatening, assaulting, molesting, attacking, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner.
  • Require the named party to stay away from the petitioner's residence (regardless of ownership) and to stay away from a place of work or other place.
  • Award the petitioner temporary custody of any minor children for up to 90 days. Or until the matter can be heard.

If you have been served with a protection order or face abuse allegations:

Unfortunately, sometimes people allege domestic violence or abuse to "get the upper hand" in custody or divorce actions, or in the middle of an argument. If you have been served with a protection order, or are otherwise facing accusations of domestic violence, it is important to immediately hire an experienced attorney and file a request for hearing. In the meantime, follow the terms of the protection order!

A protection order can temporarily destroy the relationship with your children and effectively give sole custody to the child's other parent. You will not be able to go into your own home or even have unsupervised visitation with your children. A conviction on a domestic violence charge will result in a permanent criminal record and can affect your ability to hold a job or rent an apartment. Domestic violence is a vicious cycle. Prevention starts with the abuser wanting to change his or her attitude toward violence. The abuser needs to know that it's human to feel anger but wrong to release those feelings by beating others.

Anger management classes can help an abuser get the counseling needed to control his or her anger. The goal of anger management is to reduce the emotional feelings and physiological arousal that causes anger. Again, there is help available to break this cycle. 


Vervaecke Law and Mediation is dedicated to being available to answer clients’ questions and address important legal concerns. To schedule an initial consultation with Karen please call 402-504-1818. You may also e-mail now now to request an appointment.