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Danger assessment tools

Dr Davina Kaur Patel talks about a domestic violence risk assessment tool used in the UK.

Spend a few minutes watching this interview with Dr Davina Kaur Patel as she explains the domestic violence risk assessment tool used in the UK.

Several different tools are available for health workers to carry out danger assessments. The “DA-5” tool shown below contains five questions which are highly predictive risk factors for severe injury and homicide.

Danger Assessment Tool: This brief risk assessment identifies women who are at high risk for homicide or severe injury by an intimate partner. Mark "Yes" or "No" for each of the following questions. ("He" refers to your husband, partner, exhusband, ex-partner, or whoever is currently physically hurting you.) 1. Has the physical violence increased in frequency or over the past year? 2. Has he ever used a weapon against you or threatened you with a weapon? 3. Do you believe he is capable of killing you? 4. Does he ever try to choke you? 5. Is he violently and constantly jealous of you? Source: Campbell JC, 2004. Danger Assessment DA-5. Retrieved November 20, 2016

If the response to one or more of these questions is “yes”, we can consider our patient to be at risk. A more comprehensive tool (such as the danger assessment instrument, involving 20 questions) can subsequently be used to further assess the patient’s risk factors.

If the patient responds positively to four or five questions, immediate action is needed in order to avert serious threats to life and health.

Being concerned about the patient’s ongoing safety, you should refer her or him to appropriate services. In most countries, there is even a legal obligation for health professionals to report such cases to the police or the child protection services.

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Addressing Violence Through Patient Care

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