If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you are not alone. Support is available – Safe Space!
The Escape Button above and at the top of the main menu will point your browser to bbc.co.uk/news in case you need to quickly leave this site. If you are afraid that an abusive spouse, partner, or family member may be monitoring your computer use, please review the information below about safer computer use.
Women, men and children who have been ‘forced’ to live with an abusive partner, parent or family member need a safe space where they can retreat to collect their thoughts and get support. Safe Space was founded for that reason. Sometimes getting out of that bubble of abuse, that you are in at home, helps you to realise that help is out there.
If you are in immediate danger dial 999.
Scotland’s Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline (Free, 24/7): 0800 027 1234.
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 081 0327
If you or someone you know need support, you can visit https://www.bright-sky.org.uk/ to find your nearest local support or download the Bright Sky app (Android device: click here, Apple device: click here) to your phone.
To find your nearest Safe Space locations go to https://uksaysnomore.org/safespaces/
Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline is on 0808 2000 247 and is available 24 hours a day seven days a week for free and it is a confidential support.
Or you can visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm Monday to Friday).
As you surf the internet on your computer, the websites you visit are stored in your web browser’s history (web browsers are apps like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.) This is true on your computer as well as your phone.
Even though you can delete the history of the sites you have visited, there are tools that an individual can use to retrieve it. Additionally, there are software apps that a user can install on your computer to monitor which websites you visit, steal your user names and passwords, and access your email or other sensitive information. If you think your computer or phone may be being monitored, be as safe as possible when browsing for information you do not want your abuser to know you are viewing. Most browsers include a private browsing mode, which will not track history or store other information. Although not completely safe, it is recommended to use these modes as much as possible when browsing sensitive information.
Ideally, use a safe computer. Safe computers can be found at the local library, internet café, at shelters, at work, a computer technology center, or at a friend’s home. Always use safe computers when researching things such as travel plans, housing options, legal issues and safety plans.
How to Use Private Browsing & Delete History
|Browser||How to browse privately||How to clear browser history and cache|
|Firefox||Click here||Click here|
|Chrome||Click here||Click here|
|Safari||Click here||Click here|
|Internet Explorer||Click here||Click here|
If you have no choice but to use a computer that may not be safe, always use private mode rather than clearing your history after each session. A blank history can also raise suspicion from your abuser. If you are unable to prevent your history from being tracked for one reason or another and do not want to clear it, make your browsing as hard to track as possible. For example, if you are looking to relocate to California, do not just search for jobs or apartments in California. Also perform searches in other locations to make it harder for an abuser to discover your plans.
Your abusive partner could have access to your email account. To be safe, open an email account your partner does not know about on a safe computer and use that account for safety planning and sensitive communications. Do not use any personally identifiable or easily guess information when creating user names or passwords. It is a good idea to keep your monitored account active with non-critical emails in order to maintain appearances.
Mobile phones can be a beacon, tracking your exact location in real time. Call and text history can also be retrieved by an abusive partner. Additionally, a location tracking device (GPS) can be placed on your car or in your purse. If you feel that your phone may be monitored, the safest thing to do is to purchase a pay-as-you-go phone that you keep in a safe place, or to use a phone in a safe place, such as at work, at a friend’s, or at a shelter.
Only post things you want the public to see or know. Once it’s online, it’s out of your control. Be very protective of your personal information like phone numbers, email and physical addresses, your birth date, home town, birth town, the schools you attended, your employer, and other similar information can give an abuser plenty of ways to monitor you and locate you. Even photos can be traced and searched and may provide information you do not want to disclose. In addition to not posting personal information yourself, tell your friends and people close to you to not post anything personal about you either and to not tag you in photos if you are uncomfortable with it.
Keep all passwords private and make them difficult to guess by using no personal information in either your user names or passwords. Do not write them down and leave them anywhere where an abuser may find them. If your computer or phone ask if you would like it to save your user name or password, always say no.