Privacy Policy

Fort was created and is maintained by abuse survivors, and each of us is acutely aware of how sensitive the topics of abuse and mental health are. The very purpose of this site is to have a place where it's safe to talk of our experiences, so your privacy is of utmost importance to us. We want to make your online experience satisfying and safe. Because we gather certain types of information about our users, we feel you should fully understand the terms and conditions surrounding the capture and use of that information. This privacy statement discloses what information we gather and how we use it. We invite you to contact us at if you have questions about this policy.


We use Google Analytics, which log your type of browser, screen resolution, connection speed, Internet Service Provider (ISP), time spent on a page, referring/exit pages, and traffic patterns throughout our site. This information is not personally identifiable and is only used for bulk statistics reporting. It helps us determine which areas of our site visitors like and don't like based on traffic to those areas. We do not track what individual visitors read, but rather how well each page performs overall. This helps us to better understand our visitors' needs and preferences, and to tailor our content accordingly.

We also use cookies to enhance your experience. I.e., this site sends a small text file to your browser, which, if accepted, may be stored on your computer. It allows your browser to "remember" your visits history and communicate it to this website - for example, to highlight links you've previously visited. The cookie does not contain personal information and can't read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. You can refuse cookies by turning them off in your browser (in Internet Explorer, in Chrome, in FireFox, in Safari, in Opera.). You can also set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, giving you the chance to decide whether to accept it. You do not need to have cookies turned on to browse this site.

You have the option to submit content to this website, such as post comments to our library pages, add your artwork or poetry to our collection, or make posts in our Public Forum. It might seem self-explanatory, but the content you choose to submit might be published, i.e. visible to other users. Your IP address is recorded as well (for safety reasons), but will never be published. You don't have to post comments or submit other content to Fort in order to browse it.


In order to provide you access to interactive areas/features of our website (forums and chat), we need to record the following three things:

  • your date of birth (needed for legal reasons; for example, to know that you're over 16yo)
  • your IP address (also for legal reasons; for example, to call 911 if you brag about murdering someone)
  • your email address (needed for things like restoring lost passwords or getting email notifications if you want them).
This information is visible to moderators/administrators only, and is never shared by Fort Refuge with anyone else except when required by law. You can't login to Fort with your social networking accounts (e.g. Facebook/Google+/Twitter/etc), so date of birth, IP, and email address are the only three things we know about you. It's against our guidelines for anyone to ask you for your name, email, Skype ID, phone number, or any other identifying information. Registration and participation is optional, by choosing it you consent to the collection and use of this information by Fort Refuge.

What's visible to whom:
Private forums are private, meaning that your profile or posts (except for posts made in the public forum) are only visible to other Fort members, do not come up on Google, and people cannot search for you by your email address or name. Your nickname appears in the list of users currently online, which is visible to visitors; you can disable this option by switching to "invisible mode" (under your settings). You have the option to display your date of birth on your profile (so that others can wish you a happy birthday, for example), but the default setting is to hide it. Administrators have access to all logs, including chat logs and private messaging logs; we do not open them without a good reason (such as complaints about stalking), and never share them with anyone unless required by law.

We don't delete posts or accounts:
Each of the posts you made was a part of a conversation that other users participated in, and that yet other users might find helpful to read. Removing your post from the conversation would render it meaningless. Removing the entire conversation would be unfair towards others who put thought and effort into their responses. Please don't post personally identifying information on forums, it isn't necessary to discuss abuse and its aftermath. For example, if you were raped and are now struggling with shame - the name of the town you were raped in is irrelevant: it doesn't affect the degree of the shame you're feeling or the coping methods you would use to feel better. Just leave it out. If you accidentally included something identifying in one of your posts, send mods a link to it and explain which word(s) in it are identifying, we'll edit out those words.

What's your responsibility:
We provide a platform for our users to communicate with each other, but are not responsible for the outcome of it because what you choose to communicate to others is out of our hands. For example, we will never ask you for your phone number; if you choose to post it on your profile and end up receiving unpleasant phone calls - this isn't our responsibility. If you take legal action against the user who is harassing you and authorities contact us for his/her private information, we'll comply as required by law. We allow and encourage complete anonymity - do your part, maintain your privacy online, keep your identity to yourself.