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Target hardening: A case study

Target hardening is a term that describes the act of increasing the security of a home. This can be done a variety of ways. Adding locks to windows, outdoor lights and changing the keys are all ways to improve the security of a home. But the aim is the same. To add a level of protection that will make the resident safer.

PARAGON offers these services to people who are often just out of an abusive relationship.

Why might someone want to do this to their home? We’ll take a look at a 2022 case study that is a great example of how effective target hardening is.

target hardening

How do you get target hardening?

In order to receive target hardening a DVA Advocate needs to make a referral. Of course, reasons for a referral can vary. In this case, Jenny* had recently bought out her ex-partner’s share in the house. He was no longer living with her, but Jenny was afraid he’d come back. While waiting for the locks to be changed, a referral was made to target hardening for window alarms, a personal alarm and safety planning advice.

What was done?

One reason that target hardening was requested is because the ex-partner causing harm is friends with the neighbour. This means there is a legitimate reason for him to be in the area. Not only that, but the neighbour shares the pathway with Jenny’s house.

Jenny also works late nights and feels vulnerable approaching her house because it’s very dark in her rural area. It’s important to make sure that access to her property is not something easily done. These are all very good reasons for an assessment to lead to the installation of security precautions. Safety planning was given that included tips on what you shouldn’t leave lying about the garden.

Funding was requested for a range of equipment and measures. These included:

  • Outdoor lighting
  • fencing
  • gate
  • cameras
  • tremor alarms
  • personal alarm

By securing someone’s home we can help make them feel safer.


The support and service that was provided was second to none.

I truly did not realise that such help was available. PARAGON not only gave me advice on how to safely secure my house, but my garden as well. I was very kindly given window and door alarms, which were fitted immediately.

The door wedges I was given I use in my bedroom at night, and I keep my personal alarm in my bag.

I was advised to remove and store certain items in my garden shed, so that they could not be used to cause damage to my property or myself.

I was most concerned about the shared pathway to my home; my ex regularly visits next door who I share the path with. But with the generous funding that I received I bought a gat which I keep locked at night. I also got fencing and a security light which switches on when I am approaching my front door after a long shift at work.

I feel so lucky to receive support and it has helped me to understand the potential hazards and minimise the risk to my home. It has helped me to confidently and quickly move on with my life and I now feel safe, happy and content.

My deepest thanks for everything.


Target hardening is one of the many things you can do to protect yourself. If you need to speak to someone, please contact us.

*Jenny is a pseudonym

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