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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Police Departments’ Use of the Lethality Assessment Program: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation

General Material
Published Date
July, 2014

This report describes the Lethality Assessment Program—Maryland Model (LAP), created by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV) in 2005, which is an innovative strategy to prevent domestic violence homicides and serious injuries. The program  provides an easy and effective method for law enforcement and other community professionals—such as health care providers, clergy members, case workers, and court personnel—to identify victims of domestic violence who are at the highest risk of being seriously injured or killed by their intimate partners, and immediately connect them to the local domestic violence service program.

Key findings from the study:

  • Participants in the LAP experienced less frequent and less severe violence than victims in the comparison group.
  • The Lethality Screen correctly identified 93% of women who experienced severe violence between the baseline interview and follow-up interview approximately seven months later.
  • Participants in the LAP also engaged in protective actions (e.g., hiding their partner’s weapons, or accessing formal domestic violence services) more often than participants in the comparison group.
  • Abusive partners of participants in the intervention group were more likely to “go someplace where they could not see the victim” (e.g., jail). This could indicate that victims assessed through the LAP are more likely to engage the criminal justice system, or that the system sees the partners of High-Danger victims as more dangerous.
  • Participants in the LAP were significantly more satisfied with the police response than the comparison group.
  • The results of the study designate the LAP as a “supported intervention,” according to the CDC’s Continuum of Evidence Effectiveness.