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Violence Risk Assessments with Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Abuse

Nichols, Tonia L.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) In John Hamel and Tonia L. Nicholls, Ed., Family Interventions in Domestic Violence. New York, USA: Springer Publishing Company. Pp. 275-301.

“In this chapter, we remind the reader that violence risk evaluation is a complex process, and we provide a review of judgment errors, common in human decision making, that can limit professionals’ abilities to make accurate assessments of risk. We demonstrate how (unconscious) cognitive simplification strategies can backfire to increase the likelihood of errors and, conversely, how applying principles from theory and research to risk judgments can improve decision-making accuracy. This sets the stage for a brief review of the necessity for applying structured professional judgment and evidence-based practice in the assessment and management of intimate partner violence. This is based on the foundation of research that grew out of the formal risk assessment for general criminal violence literature and the more recent empirical examiniation of predictors of intimate partner abuse perpetration. A review of select instruments intended to inform partner assault risk assessments provide the reader with an introduction to the available tools and their empirical efficacy. We assert that mental health professionals, police officers, and other advocates are most likely to be successful in preventing harm if they make use of such evidence-based, formalized risk instruments.” (excerpt)


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