Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Huber, Alyssa. 2024. Out of the Silence: How one domestic violence survivor reclaimed her life and now helps others. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Copyright Alyssa Huber 2024


Out of the Silence: How one domestic violence survivor reclaimed her life and now helps others is an article about how one woman in Lincoln, Nebraska, has shifted her life story from being a victim into being a survivor. The purpose of this article seeks to answer the question: “How does a victim in domestic violence reach a level of survivorship in Lincoln?” The article focuses on Amber Jurgens, a mother of two and survivor of intimate partner violence, who lives in Lincoln. I interviewed Amber Jurgens, who made it abundantly clear that her life is not limited to the years she was abused by her ex-husband, Jeffrey Jurgens, or the aftermath of her healing. Instead, she wants her story focused on her as a woman whom other survivors can lean on for support as they begin their journey to reclaiming their lives. This article also contains data from the Lincoln Police Department’s Crime Analysis & Intelligence Unit for 2023. I also included statewide data for domestic violence statistics in the United States. In addition to numerous conversations with Amber Jurgens, I spoke with local sources who work firsthand with victims of violence. Pam Bowles, a mental health therapist at Bryan Medical Center, has worked as a counselor for victims of domestic violence and spoke about the effects of abuse. Beth McQueen, a victim assistance unit manager for the LPD, reaches out to victims to help connect them to local shelters and resources. Marla Sohl, a sexual assault services coordinator, has spent the past 14 years working at the nonprofit Voices of Hope, which focuses on victim advocacy. Dani Jurgens, the development director at the Friendship Home, shared insight about her nonprofit’s efforts to provide housing for victims. After domestic violence occurs, victims must embark on an arduous journey to become a survivor. It’s not a journey easily accomplished alone.