December 2, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Isolation, fear, and distrust are just a few long-term effects of abuse and they can turn into lifelong psychological issues. Especially in women.

Experts say women stay in abusive relationships because they feel they can change or are financially dependent.

“I can change him. He really loves me. I have nowhere else to go,” these are just a few reasons experts say women stay in abusive relationships.

That’s why shelters like the Lydia House are so important. They offer a safe place for women and most important a support system.

“It’s a difficult thing oftentimes for people to take those steps and often times it’s having the support system and support network around them to provide that assistance,” said Daniel Anderson, Assistant Director, Lydia House.

“You should be able to smile daily instead of crying.”

Jodie Hanson took that first step in November. She was a victim of abuse in her relationship that was off and on for several years.

“Starting over and this is an amazing opportunity.”

Jodie says making the choice to break off the relationship was hard initially. A lot of tears were shed.

But she believes taking that first step has been a positive experience for her and her children.

”The fact that I am able to experience something and do better with my life is probably one of the biggest gifts and the fact that this is even occurring is even amazing,” said Hanson.

“For me personally, it just wasn’t very healthy you know some people might not call it abuse but you know mental neglect, emotional neglect, and financial issues. I had to leave.”

When Jodie realized she had to do what is best for herself and her two children, she is ready.

“And I wish him the best but for me personally, it wasn’t a good thing.”

Shelters for women such as Lydia House offer a sense of community, caring for the kids and mom as they make an important transition in their lives.

Jodie is working again and while she receives assistance here, she has future dreams of finding a nice apartment and caring for her children and herself on her own.

“It’s really important to just be able to live and show my kids that I love them.”

There are three places women can go to who are stuck in abusive relationships. The Women’s Center for Advancement, Lydia House, and Catholic Charities.

If the abuse is physical, experts say it’s best to call the police and seek a protection order.

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