Escaping This Site

We at the Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley realize the importance of escaping domestic and sexual 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.

This website is built to take into account abusive relationships. On each page, you will see an “Escape” button on the top left-hand corner of each of the WRC’s website pages. This is a button users can click to immediately go to a different site outside of the . If you are using Internet Explorer, this function completely disguises the WRC’s site. You cannot hit the “back” button once you hit escape. However, if you are using another web browser, this function does not work as well. For instance, if you are using Mozilla or Firefox, although the button takes you to another site, you can still hit the back button and return to the WRC’s site.

Please use your computer with caution if you are in a dangerous situation.

You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer and Internet activities – anyone can do it and 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, such as looking up the weather or recipes. 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 a hotline instead. 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 community technology center (CTC), at a trusted friend’s house or an Internet Café.

If you are in danger, please:

  • Call 911
  • Call the Women’s Resource Center Hotline at (540) 639-1123.
  • 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 interceptable 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.
  • Contact your local domestic violence program, shelter or rape crisis center to learn about free cell phone donation programs.