Is technology our number two shadow? Technology is literally part and parcel of our lives nowadays. This implies that we cannot detach technology from people as it encompasses every aspect of our day to day business. In most instances, technology has been used as a tool to inflict pain and to commit a lot of atrocities to individuals. It has been used as a weapon in most instances rather than a solution, but technology can as well be used to improve the lives of victims of domestic violence.
Safety for Domestic Violence Victims
The most important thing for domestic violence victims is to keep them away from their abusers. This can be achieved by crafting a safety plan. If an intruder or an abusive individual has accessed your computer or electronic devices, they could be monitoring your online or electronic activities. Dealing with violence, abuse, and stalking is both technical and difficult. Domestic violence services and police departments can provide you with safety measures and options to take to improve your safety.
The following are the legitimate safety guidelines to take into account if you are a victim of domestic violence:
The first step is to trust your instincts. If you suspect an abusive individual knows too much about you, most likely he/she is monitoring your phone, computer, email, car use, and other activities that you are involved in. Abusive people are very canning and meticulous in what they do. They can be very creative and persistent just to keep their power and control.
If you are doubtful that an abusive character has access to your computer, he/she might be monitoring your online activities. The safest way to avoid this is to use a computer at community centers, cyber / internet café, or public libraries. You can also change your passwords more frequently to protect your computer, email, and online banking accounts.
The use of video and audio recording is very helpful for you as a victim of domestic violence. This can be used greatly as sufficient evidence to prosecute and arrest domestic violence perpetrators.
Within homes, it is possible to enable smart lighting to warn you when abusers approach and smart locks to prevent intrusion and alert authorities.
Another way of victims protecting themselves is by establishing financial independence. This is achieved by securing your bank account, hiding your credit card, not using joint bank accounts, opening your own bank account, and using cash and other bearer assets.
In an abusive situation, the victim should use incognito mode on web browsers to set up a new email address not tied to your name. The new email address can be used to contact family and friends to form a secure support network. Victims must also check the USB port and cables on the computer for key loggers than the abuser could have installed. More importantly, you should install the TOR BROWSER or VPN for secure communications.
Technology has offered a great solution to help victims of domestic violence. It reassures you and allows you to have control over your abusers. It also helps shift the responsibility and burden of reporting cases of domestic violence to third parties hence further protecting the victim. To bolster these technological innovations to be more supportive and protective to domestic violence victims, legal frameworks should be improved to instigate more penalties on domestic violence perpetrators. More innovations and strict technological solutions are cropping up every day, which will further improve the safety of victims of domestic violence.