Escaping This Site
Consider Safety Precautions While Using A Computer
At the YWCA Spokane, we realize the importance of escaping domestic violence. Victims need to take certain precautions in planning a safe escape. Safety planning includes consideration of safe computer use.
If you think your computer activities are being monitored, they probably are. Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move.
At the top of each page within this website you will see an “Escape” button located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This is a button users can click to immediately go to a different site outside of ywcaspokane.org. Be aware that you can still hit the back button and return to ywcaspokane.org.
Please use your computer with caution if you are in a dangerous situation. A degree in computer programming or a specific skill set is not required in order to monitor someone’s computer and Internet activities. There are many ways to monitor with programs like Spyware, keystroke loggers and hacking tools.
It is not possible to delete or clear all the “footprints” of your computer or online activities. If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your computer behaviors such as suddenly deleting your entire Internet history if that is not your regular habit.
If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, be careful how you use your computer as an abuser might become suspicious. You may want to keep using the monitored computer for normal activities. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, bus tickets or ask for help.
E-mail and Instant/Text Messaging (IM) are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. If possible, please call our 24hr domestic violence helpline instead (509.326.2255). If you use e-mail or IM, please use a safer computer and an account your abuser does not know about.
If you are a member of a social networking site such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, remember that anything posted on your site (or on your friends’ sites) can be, and in some cases has been, used in court. Additionally, perpetrators can use information posted on these sites to their advantage and your safety can be compromised. Be careful what information you decide to put on these sites.
Computers can store a lot of private information about what you look at via the Internet, the e-mails and instant messages you send, internet-based phone and IP-TTY calls you make, web-based purchases and banking and many other activities. It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a trusted friend’s house or an Internet Café, or use the YWCA Spokane’s computer lab for program participants.
IF YOU ARE IN DANGER, PLEASE:
- Call 911
- Call the YWCA Spokane Domestic Violence Helpline: 509.326.CALL (2255)
- Contact the YWCA Alternatives to Domestic Violence Programs counseling center to learn more about possible safety options.
- Call a national hotline:
- U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or TTY at 1-800-787-3224
- U.S. National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 automatically connects you to a local U.S. rape crisis program near your phone number’s area code.
- U.S. National Teen Dating Violence Helpline at 1-866-331-9474
- Remember that “corded” phones are more private and less easy to intercept than cordless phones or analog cell phones.
- Be aware that you may not be able to reach 911 using an Internet phone or Internet-based phone service, so you may need to be prepared to use another phone to call 911.