Research Results From a National Study of Intimate Partner Homicide: The Danger Assessment Instrument

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Research Results From a National Study of Intimate Partner Homicide: The Danger Assessment Instrument

Category: Domestic Violence, Firearm Availability, Homicide, Women|Journal: US Department of Justice (full text)|Author: C Block, C Sachs, D Campbell, D Webster, Et. Al., F Gary, J Campbell, J Koziol-McLain, J McFarlane, M Curry|Year: 2004

The majority (67 to 80 percent) of intimate partner murders of women by a husband, boyfriend, or ex-husband or boyfriend involve physical abuse of the female by the male prior to the murder, no matter which partner is killed (Greenfield et al., 1998; Moracco, Runyan, and Butts, 1998; McFarlane et al., 1999; Pataki, 1997; Campbell, 1995). To prevent this form of homicide, therefore, the battered women most at risk need to be identified. The Danger Assessment (DA) is a short (15 items) yes/no instrument that was developed in 1986 to help women assess the risk of lethality in their abusive intimate partner relationships. It has been used in many domestic violence programs by shelter advocates, criminal justice practitioners, and health care professionals as well as in prior research (Campbell, 1995; Campbell, Sharps, and Glass, 2000). Two small, independent evaluations of the DA showed that it is also useful in predicting repeat arrest in battering relationships (Bennett, Goodman, and Dutton, 2000; Weisz, Tolman, and Saunders, 2000).

The purpose of this study was to test the ability of the DA to predict intimate partner homicide among women in violent relationships in a large national study. A group of researchers in 12 cities across the country partnered with police departments, district attorney offices, domestic violence shelters, and medical examiners to conduct the study. A case control design was used with interviews of proxy informants for females killed by an intimate partner (cases) compared with information from abused women (abused controls).

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