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  • Adult Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
  • Runaway & Homeless Youth Toolkit
  • Prevent Intimate Partner Violence
  • Violence Against Women Resource Library
  • Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Project
  • Building Comprehensive Solutions
  • National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

If you are afraid for your safety and want the police to come to where you are now, you can call 911. If you would prefer to talk about other options, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, your local hotline, or (in the United States):

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233, TTY 800-787-3224

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: (RAINN) Hotline: 800-656-4673

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 866-331-9474, TTY 866-331-8453

Internet Safety Tips

Read this first: Email is not a private form of communication and therefore may not be the safest way to talk to someone about the abuse in your life. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

  • There are hundreds of ways for a person to record everything you do on the computer and what you access on the Internet.
  • If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are. Use a computer at a public library or a computer lab to access resources and information.
  • It is not possible to delete or clear all computer “footprints.” Erasing or deleting files could also alert your abuser and possibly increase your danger.
  • Spyware can be installed easily and is hard to detect. It allows every key stroke or web page viewed to be recorded and seen by a third party.

Quick Tips

  • If you receive harassing emails, save them as evidence.
  • Use a web-based email service like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail.
  • Do not let your computer save your passwords. Choose passwords that are not easy to guess and change passwords often.
  • Keep your files on a portable drive or disc and password protect them to deter access.

Private or Anonymous Browsing

Most web browsers now offer an option to browse the internet in an anonymous or private window. This means that no information – cookies, temporary Internet files, history, and other data – will be collected or stored on your computer about any sites you visit while in that window. Keep in mind, if you download information, submit a form, etc., your privacy may still be compromised. Check out the browser’s privacy policy before use. (Because this is a newer option, you’ll need to make sure your web browser is up-to-date.)

  • Internet Explorer: open a new tab. In the main body of the page, you should see an option to “Open an InPrivate Browsing window.” (more info)
  • Firefox: Click on the orange Firefox menu on the upper left corner, choose “Start Private Browsing.” (more info)
  • Chrome: Click the wrench icon on the browser toolbar, then select “New incognito window.” (more info)
  • Safari: Click on the Safari menu in the upper left corner and select “Private Browsing.” (more info)

For more information please review the NNEDV SafetyNet Project’s Technology Safety Quick Tips and visit the VAWnet Special Collection: Safety & Privacy in a Digital World.