Put simply, target hardening is a term used to describe improving the security of a property to reduce the risk of crime. It is a term used by security agencies, police officers and the military. In the context of domestic abuse it is something that is carried out by domestic abuse support services. These might include partnership agencies, such as social landlords, to improve a victim’s safety.
Why is Target Hardening important?
Target hardening is carried out to allow a victim of domestic abuse to remain in their own home. It’s an important measure to try and maintain their safety and security. It can reduce the need of those affected by domestic violence to find alternate accommodation. It can also discourage abusers from returning.
What are some examples?
Target hardening can take many forms, but common measures may include:
- fitting of additional locks and chains on doors
- installation of CCTV and security lighting
- fitting of tremor alarms to the windows
- implementation of fireproof letterboxes and safe rooms
Often target hardening workers (also known as Sanctuary Workers) will complete safety planning alongside with target hardening in mind.
What is Safety Planning in Domestic Violence?
Safety planning is a term used to describe having a personalised plan that can keep you and your children safe. If you are working with a support service they will usually work with you to develop a safety plan. During this process, they will help you brainstorm ideas of how you can keep safe. They will then provide further advice and suggestions based on this. A safety plan can include a variety of things, such as:
- having emergency contact numbers available to you
- downloading useful apps such as Hollie Guard (if it is safe to do so)
- having an escape plan
it will also including discussing other options which may be available to you, such as civil orders.