Learn to cover your tracks
A partner can often tell when a woman has made up her mind to leave the abusive situation. Do not underestimate your partner. Learn to cover your tracks.
Your computer and telephone keep records. Get familiar with what information is being saved. Here are some general guidelines. For many women, this information can be complex and overwhelming. If you are not sure you can be safe, do not use a computer or telephone that your partner has access to. You can use computers at a public library or a payphone to reach out for help.
Every website browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Google Chrome, Safari) keeps a record of websites you have visited. Find instructions on how to delete “cookies” or “temporary internet files”. You can use the HELP function of your browser. Many browsers will also remember things you have searched for, so delete any previous searches such as “signs of abuse” “am I being abused” or “how to erase websites I have visited”.
Your email program will save a copy of any sent messages. Make sure to completely remove any emails that your partner might find, or do not use a computer or email box that your partner has access to. If you have emailed Ernestine’s and we did not respond, call us instead.
When you contact us, or any organization assisting women in danger, be careful to use a telephone that does not keep a record of the number you called. If you have a memory in your phone, hit redial and then “clear” or “erase” to remove that number from your called list. Or if your phone only stores the last number you called, call a friend after you call for help. If you call long distance, phone numbers will appear on your bill. And if you and your partner share an Internet-based phone system, like VOIP or Skype, do not use this system to call for help. Cell phones can also keep records.
If you are not sure of your telephone system, or what it might be able to tell your partner, use a friend’s phone, a public phone, a work phone, or a phone that has nothing to do with your partner.