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Stay safe online if you are experiencing domestic abuse at home

by Laura Johnston

Domestic abuse comes in many forms and is any incident of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse.

These coercive and controlling behaviours may show themselves in perpetrators of domestic abuse monitoring a victim’s internet activity. For victim/survivors of domestic abuse this could mean seeking online support or advice becomes difficult.

Knowsley Council has introduced a ‘quick exit’ button on all Knowsley News articles that shares information on available domestic abuse support and advice. This offers victim/survivors the opportunity to quickly leave the webpage they’re looking at, taking them straight to Google with no way of pressing the ‘back button’ to see the previous website they were on.

Cllr Shelley Powell said: “We understand domestic abuse comes in all forms so we want to ensure that our residents can protect themselves when searching for advice and support on our news site. Since ‘lockdown’ was announced we have been clear that victim/survivors aren’t alone and help is always available and this quick exit button further demonstrates our commitment to supporting our residents.”

Further online safety advice

General security

If you do not use a password to log on to your computer, someone else will be able to access your email and track your internet usage.

Email

If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse. Any email you have previously sent will be stored in Sent Items. If you started an email but didn’t finish it, it might be in your Drafts folder. If you reply to any email, the original message will probably be in the body of the message – print and delete the email if you don’t want anyone to see your original message.

When you delete an item in any email program (Outlook Express, Outlook, Thunderbird etc) it does not really delete the item – it moves the item to a folder called Deleted Items. You have to delete the items in deleted items separately. Right click on items within the Deleted Items folder to delete individual items.

Web browsing
Knowsley’s domestic abuse support service, The First Step, also shares information on safe web browsing here.