Assessment tool helps in fight against domestic violence

A year ago, our community implemented a new protocol and began utilizing a new tool in efforts to decrease the number of domestic violence related homicides. Through a partnership with local law enforcement and Peaceful Paths, the community mobilized around getting high risk victims into services. The tool is a set of 11 questions known as the Lethality Assessment Program, or LAP. Under this protocol, when an Alachua County deputy is dispatched to a domestic violence call, the deputy is required to determine if an intimate relationship exists between the victim and his or her alleged abuser. If such a relationship exists, the deputy asks the victim the LAP questions, immediately entering the responses into the deputy’s computer. If the victim scores high, they are told of the risks and seriousness of their situation and the deputy offers to connect them to the Peaceful Paths hotline on the spot.

The following are statistics from the Lethality Assessment Program’s first year, which ran from Sept. 1, 2009, to Aug. 31, 2010:
LAP screenings: 244 predicted, 414 actual
High risk scores: 134 predicted, 246 actual
Of 246 at high risk, 140 spoke to a domestic abuse hotline counselor.
Of 140 who spoke to a counselor, 46 went in for services at Peaceful Paths.
Source: ASO
To read the entire article, click here.

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