Spousal Assaulters in Outpatient Mental Health Care: The Relevance of Structured Risk Assessment

June 1, 2015 | By Serie et al.

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

This study examined whether a typology of perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) could be replicated in a Dutch sample (N = 154) of self-referred IPV perpetrators using a structured risk assessment tool for relational violence (Brief Spousal Assault Form for the Evaluation of Risk [B-SAFER]). Findings support the previous IPV perpetrator subtypes: low-level antisocial (LLA), family only (FO), psychopathology (PP), and generally violent/antisocial (GVA). The subtypes differed on the descriptive dimensions general criminality, substance use, and mental health problems. The prevalence rates for each subtype were roughly comparable with those in previous studies. Contrary to expectation, the prevalence of the GVA subtype was relatively high in our self-referred sample compared with court-referred samples. Findings suggest that structured risk assessment should be an integral part of the intake procedure for IPV perpetrators entering treatment, to assess their level of risk and to arrive at a tailored risk management strategy, regardless of setting or referral source.


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