January 23, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: , 0 Comments

Barrier Free Living features a domestic violence related safety feature on our website. A purple “escape” button is located in the top right hand corner of every page of the site. The button conceals the fact that an individual is on a website offering services to domestic violence survivors.

According to the team at our domestic violence counseling program, Secret Garden, the most dangerous time for a domestic violence survivor is when that individual attempts to leave the abusive relationship. The “escape” button’s purpose is to conceal that the survivor has been looking for domestic violence services. The button is simple and quick to use to ensure the upmost safety.

When a person is using a computer/tablet/cell phone to look for resources/services and the abuser approaches they simply click the escape button to be rerouted, and leave no obvious trace. The button will immediately move from BFL’s webpage to weather.com while simultaneously opening an additional tab at google.com. After using the escape button a user will not be able to “go back” by pressing the back arrow.

While this button works great to exit a website quickly it is not yet able to completely erase the visit to the website in the browser history. Instructions on how to delete browser history can be found below.

In Internet Explorer:

Locate the word “Tools” located below the address bar on the left of the screen
Left click on “Tools” and select the option “Delete Browsing History”
In the window that pops up choose the information to be deleted. Make sure that “History” is selected.
Click delete, a progress bar will pop up and disappear when the information had been deleted.
In Firefox:

Locate the word “Tools” at the top right of the window next to “Bookmarks” and “Help”.
Left click on “Tools” and select the option “Clear Recent History”
In the window that pops up select the time range to erase, to be safe erase the history for as long as you have been online or select “Entire History”
Select “Clear Now” and the history will be deleted.
For Barrier Free Living (BFL) ensuring safety of clients is of the utmost importance. What is safety? To BFL safety consists of clients taking necessary measures to ensure that they do not come to harm. Barrier Free Living’s domestic violence programs, Secret Garden and Freedom House, encourage safety planning and education for all clients through case work and social work services. Through these services clients learn techniques to avoid or minimize harm, as well as ways to reach out for help and services.

Within Freedom House, BFL’s Emergency Domestic Violence Shelter, almost fifty percent of the time with clients is spent covering safety.

BFL C.E.O Paul Feuerstein, in collaboration with NYU associate professor of psychology Alisha Ali, created a safety survey. This safety focus was first presented and discussed in the Breaking Barriers newsletter in February 2012 and the survey was released in March 2012, both articles were written by Cynthia Amodeo (BFL Chief Program Officer) and Myra Ricard (Program Director, Freedom House).

The survey presented in March evaluates safety knowledge and proficiency in a total of five safety areas including travel, electronics, financial, location, and relationships. In support of Barrier Free Living’s safety orientation and due to C.E.O Paul Feuerstein’s interest in outcome measurement, safety has since become a program goal for Freedom House and the survey is now used to determine program effectiveness.

In speaking with Ms. Amodeo regarding safety matters she stated that “…safety is a never ending concern in our work and it encompasses almost every aspect of our client’s lives. We strive to give residents knowledge, information and training in safety aspects and the responsibility to use that information then falls with the residents.”

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