- Think of a situation that frightens you and imagine how you would react. Everyone reacts differently. Find your own pattern to respond.
- If you feel that something is not right, if you do not feel good in some environment, if someone acts intrusive toward you – do not ignore it. Trust your instincts!
- A very useful is to draw attention to yourself on the street, for example with the acoustic instruments, whether it is whistles or small devices that you can carry in your handbag or backpack, which when pressed start sounding the alarm.
- If you have a strange feeling, do not get into an unknown car. Take your feelings and perceptions seriously. Your feelings are based on real grounds.
- We do not recommend use of weapons such as guns and knives, because they may end up in the hands of the attacker. In case that you think about the weapon, you should think about the proper training.
- In general: If you are able to avoid threat, avoid it!
Source: Safety advice for women and girls. An initiative of City Councilor for Women’s Affairs Sandra Frauenberg. 2007
If possible keep on hand always charged cell phone.
If you want to save the numbers of organizations and institutions providing assistance and support to women experiencing violence in relationships to phone memory or on the SIM card, save those numbers under ordinary first name. Do not save them under the name of the organization. Your partner, who behaves violently towards you, might control your cell phone. If he finds such number it can endanger your safety. Do not leave the numbers of these organizations written on the paper or business card in places where he could find it (ex. In the handbag, wallet, pocket…)
If you need to send a text message from your cell phone about the situation of violence that you experience or about the danger that threatens you, after sending it immediately delete it from the folder “Sent messages”. Inside the folder “Diary” always delete the phone numbers you dialed and / or received calls from organizations and institutions to help where a telephone call.
Save the important phone numbers to speed dial options in case of threat (ex. Police, ambulance, people you trust and know about your situation). Then if necessary you will be able to dial those phone numbers quickly.
It is good to remember some important numbers for cases of emergency situation – when you have to leave the apartment or house without personal belongings. In such situation it is also good if you have change of coins always with you in case you might need to use a public phone.
Many cell phones give opportunity to locate the place where you are. Mobile operator should always inform you by text message notification that someone is trying to localize you. In this case, you can refuse to provide this information. For more information on this service and on the possibilities and rules of its provision can be provided to you by your mobile operator. If you have left violent partner and you are concerned that he might find you this way turn off the cell phone and when if necessary turn it on again. Similar potential for locating provides navigation systems used in cars. If you are using the navigation system in the car, disable it when you go to seek help, or when you leave a violent partner.
When you call the helpline, it is safer to use a landline. The numbers that you call, however, may occur in the detailed statement of calls, or the phone memory. If you're worried that your partner might monitor your phone calls, use a public phone.
Use following tips when using computers and the Internet to help you minimize the risks of their use:
- Trust your intuition. If you suspect that someone inspects and monitors your activities on the computer and the Internet, it might be really possible. Men who behave violently usually control their partners regularly. Your partner, who treats you violently, can control your activities on the computer and the Internet and your e-mail. In order to monitor your activities on the Internet, and the computer does not have to be a computer scientist. There are many ways it can be done. If your violent partners works with computers and the Internet or are his hobbies, it is necessary that you are especially careful when using them.
- Use a safer computer. In the case that your activities on the Internet and computer could be monitored, use it rather for harmless activities such as searching for information about weather, television program and so on. To search for information about support services for women who experience violence, use safer computer to which your partner who treat you violently does not have an access. It may be a computer of someone you trust or a computer at an Internet café or public library. From a safer computer search for the information you need if you are going to leave violent relationship – advertisements offering employment and rent apartments, timetables of trains and buses, information about the price of tickets for trains and buses and the like.
- Use the “private mode” of internet browsers. Modern internet browsers support browsing pages in a mode which does not require the history of visited sites to be saved, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and usernames and passwords used in the browser are not saved. In this mode it can be accessed by pressing Ctrl + Shift + P in Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, and Ctrl + Shift + N in the browser Google Chrome.
- Do not change your habits when using your home computer and the Internet. It is not possible to clear all the “footprints” after your activities on the Internet and computer. If you suspect or are concerned that someone stalks your activities on the Internet, it can be dangerous to suddenly erase browsing history, unless it is something you usually do, or what is customary when using a computer at home.
- Set up a new e-mail account. If you have an email account that your partner might have an access to, or know about, do not use it to communicate with other people or institutions about your situation. For the purpose of this communication set up a new e-mail account, preferably on a different server (if you have an e-mail account, create a new account on the server centrum.sk or similar to that server). On this e-mail account, do not connect from your home computer, especially if you suspect that could be monitored. In the title of your e-mail address do not give your name, or a variety of truncated forms of your name, which people commonly call you. Do not give detailed personal information to the profile of your e-mail account.
- Periodically change your passwords and codes. If you suspect that your violent partner can track your activities on the Internet, periodically change your passwords and codes to e-mail accounts, Internet banking service and other Internet services that require it. Also such passwords, which are not easy to guess (do not enter e.g. names of children, pets, etc.). The safest passwords are such that have at least 8 characters and use a combination of letters and numbers. Do not change the passwords in the e-mail accounts and other services that your partner already knows, or has access to it. This may arouse his suspicions.
- Find your name on the Internet. If you want to know where everywhere you can find information about you on the Internet, enter the name in the form “Name Surname” into a browser (Google or other). This way you can find out who has your personal data and the persons or institutions request a withdrawal of your personal data on the Internet. When you register on various websites and services enter as little personal data (many of them require full name and address) as possible. If you register under various social networks such as Pokec, Facebook, MySpace and others, do not give your personal information to your profile, use a fancy name, date of birth and address.
- Skype. If you use Skype, MSN Messenger or any similar service for the communication with family, girlfriend and friends and other people, you should know that this is not a secure means of communication about your situation. Through these services communicate only the basic things because the computer stores the history of communication. Computer store other personal information about you – what you are looking on the Internet, web pages visited, cash transactions via internet banking, online shopping and many other activities.
- Spam and junk mail. If you e-mail arrives unsolicited or junk mail/spam, do not open it. Delete these e-mails without opening. It may contain malicious programs, through which it is possible to monitor your computer.