Tools and approaches

Risk assessment in the context of intimate partner violence is becoming increasingly widespread across the EU and internationally, and instruments have been developed and validated (i.e. tested for accuracy) in a variety of settings. In particular, there are six standalone intimate partner violence risk assessment tools that have been developed and tested for predictive validity in multiple research studies:

  1. the danger assessment (DA) (41),
  2. the domestic violence screening inventory (DVSI, DVSI-R) (42),
  3. the Kingston Screening Instrument for Domestic Violence (K-SID) (43),
  4. the spousal assault risk assessment (SARA) (44),
  5. the Ontario domestic assault risk assessment (ODARA) (45) and
  6. the brief spousal assault form for the evaluation of risk (B-SAFER) (46).

The use of different risk-led approaches and risk assessment tools across the EU, but also within Member States (47), presents a specific challenge for assessing the effectiveness of risk assessment of intimate partner violence in the EU.

A number of Member States and governmental and non-governmental actors have developed and implemented various adaptations to validated risk assessment tools, in particular SARA (48), B-SAFER (49), ODARA (50) and the DA (51). The domestic abuse, stalking and harassment and honour-based violence (DASH) tool (52) has also been adapted for use in a number of Member States, although the tool itself has not been validated (53). These variations result in a non-uniform approach to addressing intimate partner violence.

The majority of EU Member States have risk assessment and/or risk management embedded in some form of policy document and/or national legislation on intimate partner violence (54). Only a few Member States have risk assessment and/or risk management embedded in national legislation (55). Most of them include risk assessment in policy documents, such as national action plans and strategies (56) or other than national action plans or strategies (57), and in some cases risk assessment/risk management is not referred to at all in legislation (58).

In many Member States where standardised tools have been developed, they are inconsistently applied (59) or are in their infancy (Romania) (60), or risk assessment is not implemented at all (61).