Domestic Violence

Safe and Secure: Home Modifications for Domestic Abuse Survivors

A guest post by Nora Hood from Three Daily.


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Domestic Violence, Abuse, Safety, Safe Home

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As someone who came from an abusive situation, you can feel vulnerable beginning your new life.  It’s important to create an environment that helps you feel safe and secure.  With a few thoughtful strategies, you can find a new home and establish a safe situation.


Starting fresh  

Finding a new home is exciting and intimidating.  You want to set yourself up for safety and prevent feeling exposed or vulnerable.  You may be in the process of reinventing your life.  There are several steps you can take to help you start fresh and feel safe.  Redfin (NOTE: lots of great advice here as well) recommends talking with an attorney about anonymity so your new address isn’t easily found through legal records.  If you have school age children, you may wish to discuss your situation with teachers and administrators.  Also, consider finding a home that isn’t in a secluded or isolated area.  You might feel uncomfortable being around people in some respects, but knowing you have eyes and ears close by can ease your mind in important ways.


Improved security

You can feel better wIth some simple and low-cost home modifications.  Here are some options to consider:

  • Add window coverings; one suggestion is to choose shades which allow some light to flow through but aren’t transparent enough to see if someone is home.
  • Add extra locks to exterior doors, especially deadbolts. Note that not all locks are created equal; Grade 1 security certificate locks provide the highest level of safety.
  • Install motion activated lighting.
  • Keep windows and doors locked at all times, even when you are home. Lock outbuildings and garages as well as your house.
  • Install motion sensors and security cameras.
  • Reinforce doors. You can find simple instructions from websites like Family Handyman and do this yourself.
  • Install peepholes in your exterior doors.
  • Don’t keep your keys in your car.
  • Purchase a locking mailbox or rent a post office box.
  • Install wireless alarms on windows and doors.
  • Secure sliding doors. You can install special locking devices or opt for slipping a heavy wooden bar into the slot as a simple and cost-effective solution.
  • Remove hiding spots around your home. Some experts note shrubbery and other landscaping can leave you vulnerable to intruders.
  • Window air conditioning units should be secured with special brackets.
  • Add timers to lights, radios and televisions to create the illusion your home is occupied when you aren’t home. Don’t forget about your exterior; lights that come on automatically on your patio and porch improve safety as well.
  • Add to your exterior lighting so your home is visible and well-lit at night. Replace bulbs as soon as they burn out.
  • Don’t share about your changes on social media, and don’t share about your daily schedule.
  • Put out security system signs, whether you actually install a system or not. You can also adhere security system stickers to windows.


Home security systems 

You should consider installing an alarm system or security cameras.  PCMag.com has listed its reviews for the Best Smart Home Security Systems of 2018. 


Create a pleasant space

Once your security is enhanced and you feel good about your property, you can focus on creating an atmosphere inside your home that promotes your peace and well-being.  Hang some positive quotes where you’ll enjoy them every day, choose colors that are soothing, and select some items with soft, comforting textures.  Keep houseplants or fresh flowers in rooms you use frequently.  Surround yourself with things that are warm and reassuring.


Home sweet home

As the survivor of an abusive relationship, you may feel apprehensive and vulnerable.  Take steps to select a home that will help you feel at ease, and create an environment that is secure and soothing.  You’re new home will provide you with a safe, fresh start.




Thank you, Nora! We appreciate the important information provided in your post. Readers – please check out Nora’s website for more information about domestic violence and safety.




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