Domestic Violenc Death Review Committe

Domestic Violenc Death Review Committe

Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Risk Factors

It is imperative that if you are being abused that you become aware of risk factors that have been identified by the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee. Most women may not understand the potential danger that they may be in. These risk factors have been identified. There are 7 risk factors that are a common risk factor that may increase the risk of lethality. The most common risk factors involved with domestic homicide is an actual or pending separation. Other prevalent risk factors are:

  1. History of violence outside of the family by perpetrator
  2. History of domestic violence
  3. Prior threats to kill victim
  4. Prior threats with a weapon
  5. Prior assault with a weapon
  6. Prior threats to commit suicide by perpetrator*
  7. Prior suicide attempts by perpetrator*(if check #6 and/or #7 only count as one factor)
  8. Prior attempts to isolate the victim
  9. Controlled most or all of victim’s daily activities
  10. Prior hostage-taking and/or forcible confinement
  11. Prior forced sexual acts and/or assaults during sex
  12. Child custody or access disputes
  13. Prior destruction or deprivation of victim’s property
  14. Prior violence against family pets
  15. Prior assault on victim while pregnant
  16. Choked victim in the past
  17. Perpetrator was abused and/or witnessed domestic violence as a child
  18. Escalation of violence
  19. Obsessive behavior displayed by perpetrator
  20. Perpetrator unemployed
  21. Victim and perpetrator living common-law
  22. Presence of stepchildren in the home
  23. Extreme minimization and/or denial of spousal assault history
  24. Actual or pending separation
  25. Excessive alcohol and/or drug use by perpetrator*
  26. Depression – professionally diagnosed – perpetrator* (If check #26 and/or #27 only count as one factor)
  27. Depression – in the opinion of family/friend/acquaintance – perpetrator*
  28. Other mental health or psychiatric problems – perpetrator
  29. Access to or possession of any firearms
  30. New partner in victim’s life*
  31. Failure to comply with authority – perpetrator
  32. Perpetrator exposed to/witnessed suicidal behavior in family of origin
  33. After risk assessment, perpetrator had access to victim
  34. Youth of Couple
  35. Sexual jealously-perpetrator*
  36. Misogynistic attitudes-perpetrator*
  37. Age disparity of couple
  38. Victim’s intuitive sense of fear of perpetrator*
  39. Perpetrator threatened and/or harmed children* * Revised or new item

For a description on the above risk factors, go to page 34 of the Annual Report of the DVDRC.

Note: These common risk factors should be known to all women that are being abused. Please review and understand, therefore, helping you to assess the situation you are in. Please, again, this information is to help you identify and recognize danger signs so that you may make safety plans. However, the most important message we can give you is to call, walk in, and/or reach out to someone you trust. But, most importantly, call the services trained to help you before you are victimized. Remember, if you do not get help the first time, do not give up. There are people that care and want to help you.

These pie charts illustrate the number of risk factors present in cases reviewed by the DVDRC. The recognition of multiple risk factors within a relationship allows for enhanced risk assessment, safety planning and possible prevention of future deaths related to domestic violence.