NESAAP was founded in March of 2017 by Omaha locals that were part of the DIY punk scene. We had seen an incredible amount of assaults take place, with no true way to address the crime. Going to the police proved futile, as with without bruises or bodily fluids, anything that couldn't be proven in front of an unforgiving jury was legal. This included sexual assault and abuse. We were tired of the same old story.
Taking inspiration from the 2010 Title IX additions by Joe Biden, we sought to improve our community to the standards of our universities. We founded NESAAP to help take charge of a solution to this chronic issue- to give us a method of making the change.
By working with victims, venues, and violators all at once, we hope to change this story.
On the first level, we have victims and survivors. By educating at-risk populations on what to do to protect themselves, as well as offering in-person support to people in danger, we aim to do everything we can to protect the victims of these crimes, counseling them before going forth with any action on their behalf.
Money raised to help victims will give us the ability to help educate them. We have a team of specialists devoted to offering lessons to at-risk persons in self defense and recognizing the red flags of an abuser. Working with groups like the WCA also has given us a team of advocates ready to go out into the field to help others. We've established the first Survivor's Anonymous group as well, focused on allowing victims to come together in the group effort to heal.
Due to mounting concerns of a corrupt police force, we are focusing on offering all of our services with an emphasis on avoiding police brutality. As such, we have a team of Defenders- people trained to assist victims in danger as a sort of preventative force. These Defenders are an intimidating sort, hopefully reducing the likelihood that a victim-violator altercation will take a turn for the worse. As our Defenders are focused on de-escalating situations rather than starting fights, we know they can be a great asset to anyone fearful for their safety.
Venues were where we saw these assaults taking place, and venues came to us for advice on how to stop it. Omaha owners want to provide spaces that discourage sexual assault, and bands don't like performing at places where people are in danger. As ban lists mounted, venues struggled to find ways to safely implement them without endangering victims or facing violent repeat violators.
By establishing a universal Safer Spaces policy for the Omaha and surrounding areas, we hope to ensure that venues know exactly what to do in a crisis situation. Rather than scrambling to figure out what's the most effective way to deal with violations on their property, we'll run a free class to educate bars, studios, and other staples of Omaha's nightlife to show them what they can do before, during, and after an incident to reduce the likelihood of harm on their watch. We'll also be printing out posters in a variety of styles that venues can hang up to remind both patrons and employees what is necessary to establish consent.
Our Defenders will be here to help venues out as well- by giving venues on-call bouncers that can help them enforce ban lists and reduce violence, regardless of their income level. We began in a small business community, and we intend to serve that community.
Abuse is often thought of as a women's issue, and is often dismissed as the obligation of victims to prevent. In truth, it is the violators that commit the acts that victims suffer from, and it is imperative that we work to rehabilitate past violators and prevent the culture we live in from creating future ones.
There's been a lot of research attempting to pinpoint what factors cause abuse to the scale that we see it happening in the United States. It isn't heavily correlated with mental illness or trauma as the mythology states. In fact, it's not even something that's just a piece of human nature. Anthropologists noted that remote tribes without a strong male-dominated system didn't tend to have issues with abuse. Once these tribes gained access to American television, however, that story completely changed. Coming in contact with American culture is what created epidemics of partner violence. Knowing that it is our culture that causes this violence is important- it means that we need to change the culture to stop the violence.
We do have that power to change the culture. Showing potential victims how to avoid being violated isn't enough- we have to reach out to potential violators. By exposing young men to an education curated by men that stand against this violence, we have the power to show them how to not fall into that culture. And for the grown men that never learned that lesson- we will be providing scholarships in order to make Batterer's Intervention Programs and other forms of counseling affordable to help them unlearn what society taught them was okay.
And it's not all about straight men either- our folks on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum know that they aren't safe either, as much as we'd like to think abuse is just another "straight problem". By having LGBTQIA+ adults speak with teenagers like them, we can dispel myths like "there's no such thing as a lesbian abusive relationship" together.