LETHALITY ASSESSMENT SCREEN –
A. “Yes” response to any of Questions #1-3 automatically triggers the protocol referral.
1. Has he/she ever used a weapon against you or threatened you with a weapon? Yes No
2. Has he/she threatened to kill you or your children? Yes No
3. Do you think he/she might try to kill you? Yes No
B. Negative responses to Questions # 1-3, but positive responses to at least four of Questions 4-11, trigger the protocol referral.
4. Does he/she have a gun or can he/she get one easily? Yes No
5. Has he/she ever tried to choke you? Yes No
6. Is he/she violently or constantly jealous or does he/she control most of your daily activities? Yes No
7. Have you left him/her or separated after living together or being married? Yes No
8. Is he/she unemployed? Yes No
9. Has he/she ever tried or threatened to kill himself/herself? Yes No
10. Do you have a child that he/she knows is not his/hers? Yes No
11. Does he/she follow or spy on you or leave threatening messages? Yes No
If not already triggered above, protocol referral may be triggered as a result of the response to the following question, or whenever it is believed the respondent is in a potentially lethal situation.
Is there anything else that worries you about your safety? If yes-What worries you?
If screened in: Did the screener contact the DV hotline? Yes No
If screened in: After advising her/him of a high danger assessment, did individual speak with the hotline counselor? Yes No
Was DV information given to individual? Yes No
Lethality Screen utilized is part of a program administered by The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, and police departments and hospitals in many areas.
NOTE: The questions above and the criteria for determining the level of risk a person faces is based on the best available research on factors associated with lethal violence by a current or former intimate partner. However, each situation may present unique factors that influence risk for lethal violence that are not captured by this screen. Although, most victims who screen “positive” or “high danger” would not be expected to be killed, these victims face much higher risk than that of other victims of intimate partner violence.
These are always confusing to me. Starting on question one, used a weapon? In the traditional sense of the word weapon or perhaps the nontraditional sense like his hands strangling me time and again or a pillow attempting to suffocate me or his forearm pushing my neck back as far as it could go without snapping. Is that a threat though nonverbal? I interpret my abuser’s nonverbal threats as far more dangerous than anything he might have verbalized. But he NEVER verbalizes his intents, I have always had to use my intuition as my gauge of his danger levels to us. These are just some thoughts that I have had on these lethality tests. I wish they asked more specific questions. Yes I am no longer with him and yes I moved away to stay alive and yes we have been divorced for one year and yes he is still controlling us through finances and he is livid that the teenagers refuse to see him and he views me as the problem not his abuse. So are we safe? I do not know. He is still calling or texting daily and sometimes several times a day. He has no intention of letting go. He pays support and wants what he is paying for, HIS RIGHTS regardless of their feelings about it. I would love to hear/ read your thoughts about all of this. Thanks