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How Effective Are Lethality Assessment Programs for Addressing Intimate Partner Violence?

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2018
2 pages
This is a summary of a study that evaluated the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP), which is a screening tool used by first responders to identify victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) who are at high risk of being killed by their abusers.
The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence developed the LAP, which consists of 11 questions designed to assess an IPV victim's risk of being killed by a partner in the future. Officers warn high-risk victims of the danger and offer to refer them to a social-service provider who can connect the victim to advocacy services, safety planning, and referral for additional services. The current study sought to expand the body of evidence on this program's effectiveness. The study found that the program significantly reduced the severity and frequency of the violence survivors experienced. It also increased victim help-seeking and safety planning. Women who participated in the program were significantly more likely to remove or hide their partner's weapons, to obtain formal services for domestic violence, establish safety strategies with friends and family, and obtain some form of protection against their partners. The researchers recommend the LAP as a "collaborative police-social service intervention with an emerging evidence base." The LAP was more reliable in predicting that serious or lethal violence would not occur than that it would occur without intervention. The LAP correlated significantly with survivors' own assessment of the likelihood that their partners would physically abuse or seriously hurt them in the next year.

Date Published: June 1, 2018