It takes time to recognise and accept the signs of abuse. Once you have accepted these facts, often the fear kicks in that no one will believe you. This is why Sophia has its digital safe function: for you to start gathering potential evidence of the abuse. You will be able to store images, screenshots, recordings, notes, and videos in your personal digital safe, which is hosted on Sophia’s servers in Switzerland. The files that you store in your digital safe remain there encrypted and untouched until you – and only – decide to access them.
The digital safe is up to date with technological advances while taking your situation into account. It is accessible to you wherever you are in the world through a safe pass key. It is up to you alone to decide when and what to do with the files you have gathered.
Keeping track of incidents of abuse – whether physical or non- physical – often gets you out of an unfair and difficult situation. It gives you a record of what is happening and can be helpful:
This type of documentation can form part of your case when it comes to making a complaint and so will help you prepare if you decide to seek legal aid, divorce or custody of your children.
There is no guarantee that these items will necessarily be used in these different proceedings, but it is always better to have a starting point.
The potential evidence you collect is only accessible by you and only you can decide what to do with it.
Remember, you – and only you – decide if and how you want to take action.
In documenting the abuse or assault you are experiencing from your partner, there are several things that can be helpful. Do not overlook any details that can help you restore and safeguard your safety. Here are some things that might be useful:
Taking photos of yourself:
You can ask someone you trust (a friend, advocate, hospital staff, etc.) to take a photo of any visible injuries you have sustained as a result of the violence. The photos should clearly show that the bruises/injuries are on your body and not on someone else's.
For example: Stand up and place your arm with the bruise/injury towards your face and take a picture like this or in a mirror.
If it is essential to keep your photos in a safe place where they will not be found and/or destroyed by your attacker, this is where your digital safe is useful.
Photos also include screenshots. If you receive a threatening note or message by email, text message or voicemail, make sure you save it. Take a photo or screenshot of the message. If you are concerned that the attacker may be able to access the account and delete the emails, try printing or taking screenshots of the content, including headers.
You can do the same with your call logs by taking a picture of the caller ID. Be sure to include the date and time of the calls. Keep your phone records to show the original call number, date and time.
Social media/Internet harassment:
To keep evidence of social media harassment, take a screenshot of the harassment/abuse on your computer or device. Some sites offer other ways to document activity on the site or on your page. For example, by using Facebook's "Download Your Information" (DYI) feature, you can capture all content and save it for later.
You can describe the abusive incidences in as much detail as you can manage. Please remember to write as many details as possible such as who was involved (incl. names), what day (date) and time it was andwhat happened exactly.