Domestic abuse and stalking can both take place online. This could happen by a perpetrator monitoring you on your social media, on the internet, accessing your email and connecting to devices in your home. This could also be a perpetrator maintaining complete control of your online presence and accounts. Domestic abuse, stalking and unauthorised access to computers and other electronic devices are criminal offences.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse or stalking online, it is important to inform the police or a support service.
Our first priority is to protect you and your children. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, stalking or know someone who is this guidance is designed to help you understand your options online and signpost you to people that can help you in your local area.
If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, stalking or are concerned for someone, you can report this in various ways: in person at your local police station; by calling 101; or online. In all emergency situations, dial 999. If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to action fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040.
Find a safe environment, a trusted contact, a reliable internet connection and time to read, understand and follow this guide. Open this check list which will help you list all your social media, Email, Bank, Online payment methods, shopping, cloud storage, exercise apps and any other accounts that you may have.
Evidence of the incident can be vital to support an investigation and this should be captured wherever possible. Keep copies of emails and other communications. A simple way to capture the contents of a computer screen is by pressing the [PrtScr] button. An image of the screen will be placed into the clipboard and can be pasted into a document for preservation. A similar function is available on mobile devices and tablets. Be sure you are storing this evidence safely from any perpetrator.
Staying in touch
We will stay in contact with you throughout the investigation. We need to know a safe way to keep in contact with you. Your case will be allocated to an investigator, and you will receive contact and a dedicated phone number, so you can call us directly to find out how your case is going or talk about anything that might be worrying you.
Stay safe online – general advice
If you are victim of domestic abuse or stalking, use your knowledge of your situation to decide how best to manage your safety online. Always do what is safe for you and consider devising your own safety plan. Browse the information below to learn more about how you can protect yourself.