What is it about?

Threat assessment services are offered to police investigating domestic violence and other cases for detailed assessment and risk management, but no study has yet shown that cases referred for threat assessment warrant this resource-intensive service. We scored four domestic violence risk scales from threat assessment files. Inter-rater reliability was generally good when scoring these scales from the information available in these files. We found that the scores were higher than in previously reported studies of routine police samples.

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Why is it important?

Threat assessment services are resource-intensive and intended to assist with assessment and management of high risk cases. Our study suggests that the resource is being appropriately used for relatively high risk cases. It's also important to show that threat assessment case files bear sufficient information for risk scales to be scored reliably, otherwise the validity of threat assessors' evaluations of risk could be a concern.


This study was the first to look at domestic violence cases in a specialist threat assessment service. It was great to work with Dr. Sandy Jung and her team. Look out for more studies from the Optimizing Risk Assessment in Domestic Violence project.

Dr N Zoe Hilton
University of Toronto

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Risk scores and reliability of the SARA, SARA-V3, B-SAFER, and ODARA among Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) cases referred for threat assessment, Police Practice and Research, August 2020, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/15614263.2020.1798235.
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