A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Thursday Thought — SmartSafe: Technology Abuse & Your Safety

We want to highlight a safety resource primarily for Android phone users, though there are also some tips for iPhone users.  This resource can be found on our Safety Planning page under the heading SmartSafe: Technology Abuse & Your Safety.  SmartSafe is an Australian site with How-to Videos on smartphone safety for Android phones. Here are some of the topics covered.

Turning geotagging off your photos on an Android phone

The photos you take with your phone can reveal the location where you took them, known as geotagging.

Immediate safety settings for an Android phone

This ‘how-to’ video will show you the steps to minimise the possibilities of a victim/survivor being tracked with their Android device.

Turn off location history on an Android phone

Turn off location tracking and clear location history on an Android Device

Taking a screenshot for evidence collection on an Android phone, and more.

Learn how to take a screenshot on an Android device so that you can collect evidence of text messages or other visual communications.

Turn off frequent locations on an iPhone

Your iPhone will keep track of places you have recently been, as well as how often and when you visited them, in order to learn places that are significant to you.  This video will show you how to turn off this location tracing.

Immediate safety settings for an iPhone

This ‘how-to’ video will show you the steps to minimize the possibilities of an victim/survivor being tracked with their iPhone.

7 Comments

  1. Un-Tangled

    Good info.

    I really hate that it’s so easy to find people on the Internet. I moved away from my abusive family and really don’t want them to know my location, but all a person has to do is go to a people-finder website and, at worst, pay a couple dollars to get information. Some sites let you opt-out, but you would have to go to every people-finder site to opt out. If you move, you’d have to opt-out again. People-finder sites are a really helpful tool to abusers and makes me feel unsafe.

    I learned from reading a blog written by detectives that there’s no reason to give true contact information on the Internet. I give my true name/address for sites that I order things from that are delivered to my home. However, there’s no real reason to give my contact information when I sign up for an on-line newsletter in which my address is irrelevant. So I sometimes give my true name and a false location, or I give my true location but a false name, or a false name and location. At least this way, my abusive family will have to work a little harder, maybe, to find me.

    • cindy burrell

      I’m so sorry you have had to go through this. You are obviously wiser for the wear, but I’m sure it is frustrating and stressful to have to go to such lengths to make yourself invisible just to feel safe. But, what you have shared here is important to know, as well. In our tech-savvy society, privacy is much more difficult to secure.

      Thank you for sharing this important side-note. I pray you find the peace and sense of security you need and deserve.

    • And ditto for giving your date of birth. I have been known to give a false date of birth on social media sites. And I also set my safety settings on FB fairly high — I hide or don’t give most of the identifying details. And I rarely put info on FB related to my personal life.

      The workers in women’s refuges call Facebook “Stalkbook”.

  2. Show Me the Way

    Sorry that this question really doesn’t fit with this topic, but hopefully you will indulge me. I would like to know if anyone knows what type of training workers at domestic violence centers receive. Are they trained to spot covert abuse? Do they understand the principles that this site and others uphold? Are they aware of how hurtful it is to have the blame shifted to the victim? Or are they just so tired of hearing all the hard-luck stories that they have become hardened and think the victims aren’t really victims, but abusers looking for sympathy?

    On this site everyone is so supportive and gentle, but so far my experiences with these types of workers has been a bit callous. Again I have tried to reach out for help and was told that yes I was suffering abuse, but then I was told that I needed to seek help because I was abusive and controlling. I don’t know what I said that gave that impression, but it seemed like the blame was being shifted back on me just like my abuser does to me.

    I have yet to have a good experience with these people. I am trying not to let the comments get to me, but it is difficult. I am hesitant to contact them further for help.

    • Good questions, BB, and I wish we knew the answers! And I’m sorry that you’ve had bad experiences with workers. That is awful but I guess it doesn’t surprise me all that much…

      I would think the training those workers receives might vary greatly from place to place, state to state, and country to country. That is just my guess, however.

      The funding for the DV sector is always FAR short of what is needed. So the training of workers in the DV field, and the workload each worker has to carry, are always impacted by the lack of funding.

      However, callous or judgemental attitudes are not excused by poor funding!

      FWIW, my experience of interacting with workers in the DV sector and in women’s refuges has been mixed. Some were kind and compassionate. Some seemed a bit judgemental and harsh; looking back I don’t think they appreciated how hard it is to come out of the fog and how gently they need to talk to victims. One woman asked me if I was going back to my husband and when I said I was thinking of going back to him, she said “We find that these men don’t change.” It was a true enough statement, but to me it sounded like she was just telling me “you are stupid for thinking of going back to him.”

      And she said it in a tone that seemed like she had little hope I would believe her; as if I was already a lost cause. I didn’t feel like she had respect for me and where I was at. And she didn’t ask more questions to help me think my situation through more carefully, it seemed like she only asked that one question in order to tell me off when I gave the wrong answer. She seemed very pessimistic about her job, as if she had no hope for any of us women in the refuge.

    • Another thing — I keep thinking of ‘nother things. The training for DV in the USA may come from private ‘institutes’ that actually more interested in making money for the Institute’s Owners than they are in providing quality training for workers at the coal face. I think this may be more the case in the USA than it is in Australia.

      If the training the DV workers have received has come from trainers who believe in mutualising notions that are often promoted in the Family Court system and the counseling professions, terms like ‘high conflict families’ … ‘high confict divorce cases’ … ‘trauma bonding’ … ‘battered woman syndrome’… then the workers will be trained to look down on victims of abuse rather than ELUCIDATE and HONOUR all the ways victims have resisted the abuse.

      You might find these links explain this stuff a bit more. And they may equip you to push back if any other workers demean you or infer that you are to blame.

      Honouring Resistance

      Defining domestic abuse by a list of behaviors is never going to capture it

      The Myth of “Stockholm Syndrome” and other labels which are used to discredit and pathologize victims of abuse

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