This page has valuable information about how to keep yourself safe while planning your escape. Please take this information very seriously.
If your abuser can get access to the computer you are using, you must be aware that he may find some of your browsing history in the wireless router cache or he could check the printer cache to see documents you printed. You will need to know how to delete your browser history or open a private browsing session. Key-logging is another way for him to keep track of your internet activity because it allows him to see everything you type, including login information for any hidden email accounts, bank accounts, etc. The best ways to ensure protection against key-loggers:
- Watch this video to see what such a [hardware] device looks like. Once you know, you can do a quick visual scan of your computer before typing anything during a browsing session.
- Scan files before downloading them or accepting them from others. It is possible to send key-logging software, stealthily, with a seemingly “innocent” file.
- Regularly scan your computer with programs like Spybot or Malwarebytes (and be sure to regularly update them!).
If you must your home computer to get access to information on abuse, make sure that you allow yourself enough time to browse and cover your tracks. If you feel rushed, you are more likely forget to an important step in covering your tracks. The only way to be 100% safe is to use a computer/printer elsewhere, such as a library or borrow a friend’s. If you use a public computer, please make sure you log out of every account you access.
- Do NOT leave a paper trail. Although it’s nearly impossible to remember phone numbers, appointment time/dates or any information you’re given, you must take special care to secure anything you write down on paper. If you must, write things down, it is important that you remember to transfer things to a password protected document or leave your notes with a friend. Equally important: make sure that everyone you talk to knows that you must not receive mail or phone calls. Any documentation must be either collected by you, a trusted friend or mailed to an alternate address.
- Keep your cell phone with you at all times and dial 911, any time you feel threatened. Police reports are beneficial documentation.
- Keep your curtains open and notify the neighbors who have a direct view into your home, if you expect trouble.
- Find out if your local police force has a domestic abuse unit and call them to put yourself on their radar.
- Document everything, no matter how trivial. Make notes of dates, times, details. Keep backup copies of this document and keep it updated.
- If you have children, agree on a special code word and go over plans with them so that they know what to do in the event that things escalate. You can share this code word with friends and neighbors, too.
- Take care of yourself. Getting enough rest, eating properly and exercising are important so that you can keep a clear mind and stay well.
- Tell people what’s happening but confide only in a select group of trusted friends. It is important that you build a strong support network, and not try to do everything on your own.
- Gather cherished belongings and important documents for storage at a relative’s or friend’s house.