Published Published August 28, 2020
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Real stories: family abuse victims safeguard their right to privacy

family abuse victims safeguard their right to privacy

This blog series features real stories from Onerep users. They highlight just how serious online privacy violations can be along with the consequences and fallout for victims and their families. This story focuses on the challenges of limiting contact with an abusive relative.

Family estrangement is a traumatic experience. It can cause feelings of shame, depression, confusion, and fear. Emotional or physical violence or abuse is one of the most common reasons people need to leave their family circumstances – it’s almost never an easy choice. Unfortunately, physical separation doesn’t always put an end to the relationship. Abusers function on gaining and maintaining control over their victims. Quite often, they will look for ways to regain control long after a relationship has ended.

Even after making the difficult choice to leave and working hard to move on with your life, there’s no guarantee that an abusive family member won’t try to find out where you live or contact you in order to re-establish the unwanted relationship. With the increased prevalence of social media and the abundance of online people-finder services, abusers can easily find your personal information and locate you. Victims of abuse have every right to safeguard themselves from this unwanted invasion into their lives. Safety and privacy is not a lost cause. Onerep helps you restore your privacy and live a life free from fear.

Robert S. from Minneapolis, MN is a survivor of family estrangement who had to fight for his right to protect himself from an abusive relative. Robert is also a satisfied Onerep customer. Recently, he shared his story with us so that others might benefit from his experiences.  

Robert’s story

It happened about 3 months ago. After 10 years of no contact, my estranged father contacted my sister. It starts with an old family story: he got divorced from my mother when I was six, then he failed to keep up with his responsibilities as a father throughout my childhood. Then, as my sister and I grew up, he started to become more aggressive and cruel. He eventually moved far away because no one he knew wanted to associate with him anymore. He most likely regrets many of the decisions that he made, which is why he tried to get in touch. However, nobody in our family is interested in any contact, and Onerep makes it easier to avoid it.

So after he tried to get in touch with my sister, I was concerned that he would want to find out where I lived and/or contact me using information that was posted on various websites online, and then send me unwanted messages or mail to my address. I needed to have my information removed to ensure he didn’t have access to anything that identified my current phone number or address.

I needed to have my information removed to ensure he didn’t have access to anything that identified my current phone number or address.

My current contact information wasn’t the easiest to find, but still very accessible via Google with the right keywords, or if searching for my other family that was associated with my name. The cause of the problem was that despite the fact that I have no social media or identifiable presence on the internet, multiple websites were providing detailed contact information about me without my consent. That gave my estranged father potential access to information which he was not aware of due to years of no contact. Websites that had my information exposed were relatively new, as I frequently searched for my name in the past with no results, and therefore it was imperative to me to have the information removed as quickly as possible.

So I turned to Onerep for help and it prevented any damage to my current immediate family from occurring. The situation is now completely resolved, as the websites that had exposed the most information about me no longer have profiles that display any information. This now allows me to have a clear peace of mind and not have to be concerned with the estranged family member potentially discovering my address or new phone number.

I feel 100% safer now given that I don’t have to worry about my information being as accessible as it was prior to Onerep services being used.

Restoring your online privacy is a way to protect yourself from unwanted intrusion offline

Many victims of abuse do not feel safe even long after the painful relationship is over. Sometimes they feel as though they’re living with a target on their back. They fear their abuser will stalk or harass them again. Restoring your online privacy is a good first step in minimizing that risk and regaining your peace of mind. Start your protection with Onerep 5-day trial. Don’t let the exposed information affect your privacy both on- and offline.

image Maria Shishkova Digital Marketer & Privacy Expert at Onerep

Maria is an experienced digital marketer and a regular contributor to Onerep’s blog. She is dedicated to promoting Onerep’s mission to make privacy affordable for everyone.

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