Domestic Violence Lethality Screen For First Responders
Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV), 2005
The Lethality Screen is a field tool adapted from Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell’s Danger Assessment, a screening instrument used by counselors and clinicians to assess a victim’s risk of homicide or severe re-assault. The Lethality Screen is a tool used as part of the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP). The LAP is initiated when a trained officer arrives at the scene of a domestic call, or when a community professional believes a victim of abuse may be in danger, and assesses the victim’s situation. If there is any doubt about the risk of lethality a victim may be facing, the officer or community professional will ask the victim to answer an evidence-based series of eleven questions known as the Lethality Screen for First Responders. If the victim’s response to the questions indicates an increased risk for homicide, the officer or community professional states he/she is going to place a phone call to the local 24-hour domestic violence hotline to seek advice and encourages the victim to speak with the specially trained hotline advocate. Talking on the phone is always the victim’s decision.