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The Lethality Screen: The Predictive Validity of an Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment for Use by First Responders

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 32 Issue: 2 Dated: 2017 Pages: 205-226
Date Published
22 pages

This study examined the predictive validity of the Lethality Screen, a tool used in conjunction with the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP).


This intimate partner violence (IPV) risk assessment screening tool is an 11-item version of the Danger Assessment (DA) that was designed to be user-friendly for first responders and to maximize sensitivity. Participants (N = 254) were recruited into the study at the scene of police-involved IPV incidents in one Southwestern state and subsequently participated in two structured telephone interviews approximately 7 months apart. These analyses provide evidence that the Lethality Screen has considerable sensitivity (92 percent-93 percent) and a high negative predictive value (93 percent-96 percent) for near lethal and severe violence; however, specificity was low (21 percent). The Lethality Screen also has good agreement with the DA and IPV survivors' perception of risk. The high sensitivity and low specificity should be considered carefully when determining whether the Lethality Screen is appropriate for particular areas of practice with IPV survivors and/or perpetrators. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2017