The lethality assessment program: Which survivors of intimate partner violence are most likely to participate?

Jill Messing, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Allison Ward-Lasher, Sheryll Brown, Beverly Patchell, Janet Sullivan Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the differential use of the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) – a risk-informed, collaborative police-social service intervention – across female victim-survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) in four police jurisdictions in Oklahoma. Design/methodology/approach – Women visited by the police during the study period participated in semi-structured telephone interviews. Logistic regression was utilized to examine what factors impacted implementation of the LAP. Findings – There was differential use of the intervention based on the following: jurisdiction, severe violence at the incident, perpetrator’s use of a weapon ever in the relationship, PTSD symptomology, and women’s prior protective actions and utilization of domestic violence advocacy services. Research limitations/implications – Future research should examine the decision-making process of survivors and police officers to better elucidate the meaning behind these statistical relationships. Practical implications – PTSD education should be an integral part of police training on domestic violence. In addition, officers should be trained to recognize less injurious, but also damaging, forms of IPV, such as verbal abuse and coercive control. Social implications – While police contact can provide accountability for the offender, the social service system is best equipped to provide safety options for the victim-survivor of violence. Originality/value – Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of the LAP. It is important to understand how the intervention is applied in order to better understand who is most assisted by the intervention and what training or education could be beneficial for officers providing the intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-77
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 21 2016


  • Domestic violence
  • Gender
  • Implementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Public Administration
  • Law


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