Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. It is defined as any incident or pattern of controlling, coercive, threatening, physical violence, threatening behaviour or abusive behaviour between intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
We run two domestic abuse services in Devon, providing support, advice and protection from domestic abuse, for men, women and children:
Our services empower people to live safely and free from fear or harm. Don’t suffer in silence – we are here for you. We support LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violence.
Domestic abuse can take different forms, including:
Gaslighting / emotional abuse
Digital / online abuse
Female genital mutilation (FGM)
In an emergency always call 999. If you are not in immediate danger but would like to talk to someone about something you’re experiencing you can contact 101, or find more specialist services on our resources page.
If you are concerned about an abuser monitoring or discovering your browsing history, the following tips will help you erase your browsing history.
The green "Go” button at the bottom of this page along with our TDAS and PDAS service pages will quickly take you to the BBC News homepage – but you will need to delete your browsing history afterwards.
If you’re worried about someone else that you know is experiencing abuse, find out more about how you can support them.
View websites in a private browsing window which will not appear in your browser’s history, web cache or cookies. Online services may still be able to monitor your activity (to provide personalised ads, for example) but it won’t leave a trace on your computer. To open a private browsing window, according to your browser:
Internet explorer - Click on the round cog at the top right of the window, then go to Safety > Tools > InPrivate Browsing
Firefox - Click on the three horizontal lines at the top right of the window, then click on ‘New Private Window’
Chrome - Click on the three dots at the top right of the window, then click on ‘New Incognito Window’
Safari (on a Mac) - Click File > ‘New Private Window’
Safari (on an iPhone/iPad) – Click the two squares at the bottom (iPhone) or top (iPad) of the window, then the ‘Private’ button
To find your browsing history, hold Ctrl and press H – or Ctrl+Alt+H for Opera. Find any entries you want to remove, right-click on them and choose ‘Delete’. This won’t affect logins so if you have accounts set up on any websites (e.g. Facebook, Amazon), remember to log out of any you don’t want the abuser to know about.
If you have any search engine toolbars installed in the browser itself (and they’re always there, regardless of the website) check they haven’t recorded your searches. They will have their own methods of deleting their search history that you can look up.
Threatening or harassing emails from your abuser can be saved and/or printed as evidence of abuse. Emails you’ve written will be stored in the ‘Sent/Outbox’ folders (or Drafts if unfinished).
If you don’t want anyone to see an email on your computer, print a copy if needed and then delete it. Reply emails will usually have the original email attached to them, whether on your computer or printed out.
Remember to also delete anything you don’t want from ‘Deleted Items,’ if you’re using an email program such as Outlook or Thunderbird.
An alternative to Private Browsing is to use another computer e.g. a friend’s laptop or a computer at your local library, to avoid leaving a trace on one of your own devices. Even deleting your Internet history won’t necessarily remove all traces of activity and this is one way around that.
Don’t neglect internet security though – sensitive data such as online banking is best handled on your own device.