Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Tools, Strategies, and Assessments

Which one is right for your community?

There are a wide variety of tools, strategies and assessments for identifying, assessing and reducing domestic violence homicide. However, not all of them measure the same thing or serve the same function.

For example, some specifically measure recidivism (the likelihood of abuse occurring again), while others measure lethality (the likelihood of abuse escalating to homicide). Some focus on sexual and domestic violence, while others focus on stalking. Some were developed to be used by first responders and law enforcement, while others were created to be used by confidential victim advocates. And some are used within criminal legal proceedings, while others are used in community-based settings. And all of them require some level of training and planning for effective implementation.

Before implementing any of these, it’s important to identify which one or combination of ones may be the best fit for your community. The chart below can help you learn more.

It is also recommended that jurisdictions complete some community readiness activities before implementing any chosen tool, strategy or assessment in order to better identify which one will meet the needs and resources of your community.

Assessments At a Glance

This chart provides brief overviews of prominent tools, strategies and assessments for domestic violence homicide prevention. The details and list of assessments featured are not exhaustive, but are most commonly used. You can use the chart to learn more about these featured assessments, and utilize the left column to compare selected assessments at the same time. For more information on any of these assessments or others, you can contact us using the link displayed below the chart.

Compare? Assessment acronym Assessment full name Who uses it and with whom or when? For what purpose? Recidivism or lethality? * Validated? **
For whom?

APRAIS

Arizona intimate Partner Risk Assessment Instrument System

Law enforcement officers administer APRAIS on IPV scenes after the initial investigation is completed. Victim advocates and allied professionals can also use the tool

Creates a standardized, evidence-based tool to inform criminal justice system decision making, and assists victims in assessing risk and engaging in protective actions

Recidivism and Lethality

Validated and recommended for use by the Arizona Supreme Court. APRAIS is part of the AZPOST mandated DV training curriculum at all police academies

BIRAM

Batterer Intervention Risk Assessment and Management

Intervention programs for offenders. Consists of risk factors that are assessed at different stages, and risk management strategies

Early identification of risk of partner re-assault, and guidelines and strategies to reduce the level of threat

Recidivism and Lethality

Data analysis by MA Department of Public Health found suitable face and content validity, as well as good inter-rater reliability for abuser intervention staff

DA

(versions for specific groups):

DA-I: Immigrant women
DA-Circle: Indigenous women
DA-5: Health care providers
DA-R: Women in same-sex relationships
DA Bench Guide: Judges

Danger Assessment

Victim advocates & shelter systems, healthcare workers, housing authorities, court systems; ideally in collaboration with DV advocates. It can also be self-administered by survivors

Assess level of life-threatening violence or homicide; educate survivors about their level of danger; engage in risk-informed safety planning; & align services to level of danger

Lethality

Yes, for the following (cisgender) groups
DA: Women (specific validation with Black, White, Latina women)
DA-I: Immigrant women
DA-Circle: Indigenous women
DA-5: Female survivors
DA-R: Pending validation

DA-LE

Danger Assessment for Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officers at the scene when responding to a domestic violence call

To inform victims of their level of risk, to connect high risk victims to DV services, and to use in court to inform decision-making in criminal proceedings

Lethality

Pending validation

DVHRT

Domestic Violence High Risk Team Model

Multidisciplinary teams of advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, probation, corrections, batterer intervention, and community organizations

To identify and intervene in the most dangerous cases through enhanced information sharing and risk informed collaborative interventions, to reduce domestic violence homicides

Lethality

Not applicable

DVRNA

Domestic Violence Risk and Needs Assessment

Clinicians trained in mental health, substance abuse, and who are credentialed in anti-domestic violence programming score the DVRNA as part of an evaluation before treatment

The DVRNA is a structured actuarial assessment of 14 domains and serves basis for designating the initial classification of offender risk and designated level of treatment

Recidivism and Lethality

Development relied heavily on research based on males age 18+ who are white in the criminal legal system.  Early analyses suggest that individuals are being appropriately classified

DVSI-R

Domestic Violence Screening Instrument- Revised

Family Relations Counselors at pre-adjudication arraignment with the accused. And Probation Officers at post-adjudication with those placed on probation

Assess level of recidivism and make recommendations for placement & protective orders at arraignment. And to inform level of supervision and other conditions required by probation

Recidivism

Validated for those arrested for DV (pre-adjudication) and those placed on probation (post-adjudication)

IPVI

Intimate Partner Violence Intervention/ Focused Deterrence (also colloquially known as ‘High Point Model’)

Multidisciplinary teams use tailored approaches to respond to individuals within the criminal legal system accused of IPV. They also engage victims with safety and support measures

To respond to all individuals accused of IPV from low-high risk to deter and prevent IPV, offer support to address behavior, and, when necessary, sanction individuals causing harm

Recidivism

Validated for all relationship types

LAP 2.0

Lethality Assessment Program– Maryland Model

Law enforcement and other first responders with IPV victims. Once a high-risk case is identified, the victim is connected with a local DVSP advocate

Assess level of lethality Increase victim access to services Reduction of IPV related homicide

Lethality

Tool has been validated for cis-gendered women in heterosexual relationships

MOSAIC

Method for Objectively Selecting Areas of Inquiry Consistently

Anyone, including the victim, can log in online and complete an assessment

Assess risk factors and determine level of current risk based on research, expert opinion, and comparison with other known cases

Recidivism and Lethality

DOJ validated, with more accurate results if law enforcement is involved

ODARA

Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment

Commonly used by law enforcement, courts, and victim advocates. Questions are based on risk factors such as the accused’s criminal history and victim’s personal circumstances

Determine likelihood of partner re-assault, and how an individual’s risk compares with other domestic offenders. Information can be used to inform bail and supervision for the accused

Recidivism and Lethality

Validated for men who assault their female partner and for women who assault their partner (however, interpretation of likelihood of assault is based on men)

SARA-V3

Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide, Version 3

Trained evaluators gather information about risk factors via interviews (when possible) and review relevant documents (e.g., police reports, psychological assessments)

Assess the presence and relevance of risk factors, develop a case formulation, and detail scenarios of future violence to inform case-specific management strategies to prevent harm

Recidivism & Lethality

Appropriate for use with all genders and relationship types

SHARP

Stalking and Harassment Assessment and Risk Profile

Victim advocates can assist victims to complete a web-based assessment

Examine and assess stalking and the level of risk to the victim

Recidivism

Validated anecdotally by professionals and victims, for all stalking victims

Arizona intimate Partner Risk Assessment Instrument System

Assessment acronym

APRAIS

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Law enforcement officers administer APRAIS on IPV scenes after the initial investigation is completed. Victim advocates and allied professionals can also use the tool

For what purpose?

Creates a standardized, evidence-based tool to inform criminal justice system decision making, and assists victims in assessing risk and engaging in protective actions

Recidivism or lethality? *

Recidivism and Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

Validated and recommended for use by the Arizona Supreme Court. APRAIS is part of the AZPOST mandated DV training curriculum at all police academies

Batterer Intervention Risk Assessment and Management

Assessment acronym

BIRAM

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Intervention programs for offenders. Consists of risk factors that are assessed at different stages, and risk management strategies

For what purpose?

Early identification of risk of partner re-assault, and guidelines and strategies to reduce the level of threat

Recidivism or lethality? *

Recidivism and Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

Data analysis by MA Department of Public Health found suitable face and content validity, as well as good inter-rater reliability for abuser intervention staff

Danger Assessment

Assessment acronym

DA

(versions for specific groups):

DA-I: Immigrant women
DA-Circle: Indigenous women
DA-5: Health care providers
DA-R: Women in same-sex relationships
DA Bench Guide: Judges

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Victim advocates & shelter systems, healthcare workers, housing authorities, court systems; ideally in collaboration with DV advocates. It can also be self-administered by survivors

For what purpose?

Assess level of life-threatening violence or homicide; educate survivors about their level of danger; engage in risk-informed safety planning; & align services to level of danger

Recidivism or lethality? *

Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

Yes, for the following (cisgender) groups
DA: Women (specific validation with Black, White, Latina women)
DA-I: Immigrant women
DA-Circle: Indigenous women
DA-5: Female survivors
DA-R: Pending validation

Danger Assessment for Law Enforcement

Assessment acronym

DA-LE

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Law enforcement officers at the scene when responding to a domestic violence call

For what purpose?

To inform victims of their level of risk, to connect high risk victims to DV services, and to use in court to inform decision-making in criminal proceedings

Recidivism or lethality? *

Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

Pending validation

Domestic Violence High Risk Team Model

Assessment acronym

DVHRT

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Multidisciplinary teams of advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, probation, corrections, batterer intervention, and community organizations

For what purpose?

To identify and intervene in the most dangerous cases through enhanced information sharing and risk informed collaborative interventions, to reduce domestic violence homicides

Recidivism or lethality? *

Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

Not applicable

Domestic Violence Risk and Needs Assessment

Assessment acronym

DVRNA

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Clinicians trained in mental health, substance abuse, and who are credentialed in anti-domestic violence programming score the DVRNA as part of an evaluation before treatment

For what purpose?

The DVRNA is a structured actuarial assessment of 14 domains and serves basis for designating the initial classification of offender risk and designated level of treatment

Recidivism or lethality? *

Recidivism and Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

Development relied heavily on research based on males age 18+ who are white in the criminal legal system.  Early analyses suggest that individuals are being appropriately classified

Domestic Violence Screening Instrument- Revised

Assessment acronym

DVSI-R

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Family Relations Counselors at pre-adjudication arraignment with the accused. And Probation Officers at post-adjudication with those placed on probation

For what purpose?

Assess level of recidivism and make recommendations for placement & protective orders at arraignment. And to inform level of supervision and other conditions required by probation

Recidivism or lethality? *

Recidivism

Validated? **
For whom?

Validated for those arrested for DV (pre-adjudication) and those placed on probation (post-adjudication)

Intimate Partner Violence Intervention/ Focused Deterrence (also colloquially known as ‘High Point Model’)

Assessment acronym

IPVI

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Multidisciplinary teams use tailored approaches to respond to individuals within the criminal legal system accused of IPV. They also engage victims with safety and support measures

For what purpose?

To respond to all individuals accused of IPV from low-high risk to deter and prevent IPV, offer support to address behavior, and, when necessary, sanction individuals causing harm

Recidivism or lethality? *

Recidivism

Validated? **
For whom?

Validated for all relationship types

Lethality Assessment Program– Maryland Model

Assessment acronym

LAP 2.0

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Law enforcement and other first responders with IPV victims. Once a high-risk case is identified, the victim is connected with a local DVSP advocate

For what purpose?

Assess level of lethality Increase victim access to services Reduction of IPV related homicide

Recidivism or lethality? *

Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

Tool has been validated for cis-gendered women in heterosexual relationships

Method for Objectively Selecting Areas of Inquiry Consistently

Assessment acronym

MOSAIC

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Anyone, including the victim, can log in online and complete an assessment

For what purpose?

Assess risk factors and determine level of current risk based on research, expert opinion, and comparison with other known cases

Recidivism or lethality? *

Recidivism and Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

DOJ validated, with more accurate results if law enforcement is involved

Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment

Assessment acronym

ODARA

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Commonly used by law enforcement, courts, and victim advocates. Questions are based on risk factors such as the accused’s criminal history and victim’s personal circumstances

For what purpose?

Determine likelihood of partner re-assault, and how an individual’s risk compares with other domestic offenders. Information can be used to inform bail and supervision for the accused

Recidivism or lethality? *

Recidivism and Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

Validated for men who assault their female partner and for women who assault their partner (however, interpretation of likelihood of assault is based on men)

Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide, Version 3

Assessment acronym

SARA-V3

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Trained evaluators gather information about risk factors via interviews (when possible) and review relevant documents (e.g., police reports, psychological assessments)

For what purpose?

Assess the presence and relevance of risk factors, develop a case formulation, and detail scenarios of future violence to inform case-specific management strategies to prevent harm

Recidivism or lethality? *

Recidivism & Lethality

Validated? **
For whom?

Appropriate for use with all genders and relationship types

Stalking and Harassment Assessment and Risk Profile

Assessment acronym

SHARP

Who uses it and with whom or when?

Victim advocates can assist victims to complete a web-based assessment

For what purpose?

Examine and assess stalking and the level of risk to the victim

Recidivism or lethality? *

Recidivism

Validated? **
For whom?

Validated anecdotally by professionals and victims, for all stalking victims

*Recidivism refers to the assessment/strategy assessing the likelihood of abuse occurring again. Lethality refers to the assessment/strategy assessing the likelihood of abuse escalating to near-death or homicide.

**Validated refers to whether the assessment has been independently evaluated for usability and effectiveness. It does not refer to validation and/or promotion from CCI or OVW.

***The authors recognize that many different terms such as the accused, the offender, the defendant, person who causes harm, and abusive partner are used, and are sometimes used interchangeably.

Need help figuring out what tool, strategy or assessment is best for you?

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