Monday, February 16, 2009

Assesssing Lethality

It is impossible to predict what any given individual is capable of but the the following factors can signal the need for extra precautions. The more of these factors present in a situation, the greater the danger:

  • The couple has recently separated. Separation may cause the abuse to escalate as the abuser attempts to maintain control in the relationship.
  • The abused partner (who knows the abuser better than anyone) believes the threats may be lethal.
  • The abuser threatens to kill an intimate partner or other persons.
  • The abuser threatens or attempts suicide.
  • The abuser fantasizes about homicide or suicide.
  • Weapons are accessible, and/or the abuser has a history of using weapons.
  • The abuse involves strangling, choking or biting the partner.
  • The abuser has easy access to the intimate partner or to the intimate partner’s family.
  • The couple has a history of prior calls to the police.
  • The abuser exhibits stalking behavior.
  • The abuser is jealous and possessive or imagines the intimate partner is having affairs
  • The abuser is preoccupied or obsessed with the intimate partner
  • The abuser is isolated from others and the intimate partner is central in the abuser’s life.
  • The abuser is assaultive during sex.
  • The abuser makes threats to the intimate partner’s children.
  • The abuser threatens or has a history of hostage taking or keeping someone against their will.
  • The severity or frequency of violence has escalated.
  • The abuser is depressed or paranoid.
  • The abuser or partner has a psychiatric diagnosis.
  • The abuser has experienced recent deaths or losses.
  • The abuser was beaten or witnessed violence as a child.
  • The abuser has killed or harmed a pet or threatened to do so.
  • The abuser has started taking more risks.
  • The abuser has a history of assaultive behavior towards others.
  • The abuser had a history of defying court orders or the judicial system.
  • The intimate partner has begun a new relationship with someone else.
  • The abuser has drug or alcohol problems.
  • The intimate partner is pregnant

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