Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
When you finally get away from your abuser, it is possible to keep him/her from finding you or ruining your credit. One of the first things you should do if you haven’t already is relocate yourself and your children if you haven’t already. Move across town, across the state, even to another state if you have to. Have you phone number unlisted. There is a small fee for this service in some areas but it is worth it.
Obtain a PO Box to receive your mail at. To prevent him/her from stealing mail and creating accounts in your name, invest in a paper shredder! This is one of the easiest ways to protect you from any kind of identity theft. There are programs in some states that have what is called an address confidentiality program where victims of crime can receive mail at a confidential address while their actual address is never disclosed.
Create new email accounts and only tell trusted family and friends this new address. Make sure to change passwords to any account online that your abuser may use to track you. It may be hard to avoid sites like MySpace and FaceBook or online blogging sites. Anything that will give away your identity should be avoided for awhile. You can make anonymous accounts but some places may require you post a picture of yourself. This will make it one step easier for him/her to find you.
I have written several other articles to help protect yourself. These include:
Getting Out of a Domestic Violence Relationship - One of the first articles I wrote for this site, offers advice on how to get out of an abusive relationship. This also tells part of my story.
Staying in Your Home - This article gives hints on steps to take if you decide to stay put in your home like I did when your abuser leaves.
Life After Abuse - Yes, there is life after abuse. You can heal and feel “normal” again once you rid your life of an abusive situation.
Covering Your Internet Tracks - An article that further discusses ways to keep your activities online away from your abuser. This is particularly helpful if you visit sites like this one to find information on leaving and protecting yourself.
For immediate help in making decisions to protect yourself, call any local domestic violence shelter or 1-800-799-SAFE the National Domestic Violence Hotline.