If you are in danger right now, call 911
If you aren't in immediate danger and are a woman over 16 who is experiencing abuse, contact a shelter or the Assaulted Women's Helpline for information on safe housing and help with safety planning.
If you aren't in immediate danger and are 16 or younger, contact the Kids Help Phone or a child welfare agency:
When using technology
Phone safety - when living with the abuser
Does the person who abuses you have access to your phone and phone bill?
If so, that person can track your phone calls and texts, and may even monitor your phone's whereabouts if it has a GPS chip.
If you use your phone to email, visit websites and social media, the abuser will also be able to see these activities.
What you can do:
- Use your phone cautiously.
- Think about how the abuser will respond to the information on your phone and your phone bill.
- Leave your phone behind if you think the abuser is using it to see where you go.
- Use public phones or a friend's phone to call woman abuse services or other places for help.
- Don't use your phone to search for help online. Instead, use computers at libraries, work or a school.
Computer and tablet safety
- Use computers at libraries, work or a school to search for help online.
- Be very cautious writing emails. An email leaves a record on your computer, with the webservices you send the email through (e.g. Internet service providers, Google Mail, etc.) and once that email is received, you don't know where it will go next. Think: how would the abuser use this information?
- If you have important information on a computer or tablet, such as journal entries, records of abuse or evidence of abuse like abusive emails, make sure the information is copied or printed and kept in a safe place.
Erasing and deleting
You can also:
- Erase the history of web browsers (e.g. Explorer, Firefox) on your phone, computer or tablet. To erase the history, find the "settings" or "options" in the phone's web browser and look for the "cache" or "history".
- Delete texts, emails, photos, documents and apps that may endanger you if the abuser finds them.
However, be aware that there are ways an abuser can get this information even if you think you have deleted it.
If the abuser had access to your devices in the past
- Change the passwords of all your online accounts.
- Watch your bank accounts and social media accounts carefully to see that they are not tampered with.
- Make sure the abuser's name is not associated with your internet or phone bill because he may be able to request information about your activities.
If the abuser uses technology to abuse you, here are some strategies:
- Keep copies of all emails, texts and phone messages. If possible print these messages and keep them in a safe place.
- If the abuser posts information about you on a website, do a "screen save" and print the page and keep this image in a safe place. You may wish to contact the website to ask them to remove the information.
- If the abuser tampers with any of your online accounts, contact the company that provides that account immediately and tell them what is going on. If it is a bank, contact the police immediately.
- Show the abusive material to shelter workers, the police, legal support workers and lawyers. This material is evidence that the person is criminally harassing (stalking) you, which is against the law.