Lethality Assessment Program

The Lethality Assessment Program—Maryland Model (LAP) was created by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV) in 2005 to assess risk aimed to prevent domestic violence homicide and serious injuries. It involves a coordination among first responders and victim service providers, among other community professionals who work with victims—such as health care providers, clergy members, case workers, court personnel, and even bystanders or family members—to identify victims of domestic violence who are at the highest risk of being seriously injured or killed by their intimate partners. The objective is to help the victim identify risk and then immediately connect them to their local community-based domestic violence service program.

The LAP is a multi-pronged intervention that consists of a standardized, evidence-based lethality assessment instrument and accompanying referral protocol that helps first responders provide access to resources that can increase safety and reduce risk to High-Danger victims. The screen is adapted from Dr. Campbell’s Danger Assessment, an instrument used by clinicians and counselors to assess a victim’s risk of being killed by an intimate partner.

Upon completion of the Lethality Screen, the victim is immediately referred to victim services based on the dangerousness of the situation. Many victims aren’t able to recognize the risk of danger so the LAP screen provides an opportunity to increase awareness, discuss resources and safety strategies, and an opportunity for responders to voice concern for the victim’s safety. Even victims who do not score as “high danger” at the time the LAP screen is administered, they receive valuable information about warning signs, risk factors and referrals to victim services resources.

DOVE Center LAP Partners

Utah Domestic Violence Coalition (UDVC): udvc.org

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