A little about me

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Computers, cell phones and safety revisit

I chatted briefly with someone about her daughters experience with an abusive relationship and how the madness continued after she bravely left. He continued to stalk her, show up at work, threaten her, call/text non-stop. Luckily he was found guilty of stalking and is now serving sentence in another state.

She mentioned that he knew her email, passwords and private contact info. He went through her address book and emailed everyone, sending nasty messages, opening accounts in her name and finding out where her whereabouts were by looking at her message and social media pages. He was able to harass friends and family by pretending he was her.

He also was able to close utilities, credit cards and drained her bank account. He changed all passwords on all accounts, leaving her frustrated, scared and upset.

What would you do? This isn't the first time I have heard of these, I myself have first hand experience and several others have went through similar events.

If you are planning on keeping the computer/laptop. Back it up, use Restore disks that came with your computer and wipe it clean. Use a professional if you need to, but if you have the disks you can do it for free, it just costs you a little time to put install everything. This could save you a lot of financial heartache or physical safety! If you can afford it buy a new computer/laptop/cell phone.

Keystroke programs and GPS tracking are very popular with Abusers so, change ALL passwords for EVERY account. Alert your major credit cards, banks, utilities of your situation. Many businesses will place a password on your account. Contact credit bureaus as well. They can note all strange or pricey purchases and stop whoever it is at the store or online shop.

Turn off any GPS features on your cellphone if it is still tied to your ex. When taking a picture with your phone remember this does let anyone know where you are by mapping coordinates. Change your cell number.

Be smarter then your abuser. Think like a detective. Alert your friends, family, work and places you frequent of the break up. If he/she is stalking you please let police know the situation, don't be afraid to ask them to patrol your area more from time to time. They are not the bad guys! Leave a paper trail of police reports and incidents. (Stalking, harassing calls or numerous text messages)

Be proactive about knowing your surrounding. Let someone know of your whereabouts, even if your running out for gas or for milk. Stop Twittering or Fb or whatever social media outlet you use about who you are seeing or where you are going over the weekend or through your day.

If you plan on moving and are in a legal fight, ask if you can have your address private, or if you leave without telling anyone where you are (Not recommended there are some legal reasons that can have YOU charged as a criminal or if you have kids you could potentially lose them). Since I am not an attorney please ask for legal advice or if you have an advocate that deals in abusive situations please ask protocol.

If the above situation applies to you, get a P.O. Box. Make your phone number unlisted or use a throw away phone that allows your abuser access if you absolutely need to. Give him/her a different email address and let him know that you that you will reply in 24 hrs, unless emergency.

"An emergency on his/her part, does NOT make an emergency for on mine!" Great mantra!

Before you leave make copies of:

Every bills
Paystubs
3 years Income taxes
Birth certificates
Social Security cards
Marriage certificate
Immigration papers
Lawsuit info
Financial accounts
Medical records
Copies of computer back up
Phone lists and addresses
Photos
School records
Insurance- Home, business, auto and health
Keys

Save your pennies and enlist a good friend to keep a stash of cash for you. I was sending my copies and cash to a family member via US Mail before I left.

This is a small list. Please refer to past blog posts on Safety list and Safety. This is YOUR life! Reclaim it! There can be happiness after this. Believe and have Faith!

God bless!
Prayers for you Dear Blog reader and for those that are standing by someone that is in a abusive situation.

Love and Light,
Mel