Development and testing of the danger assessment for law enforcement (DA-LE)

Jill Theresa Messing, Jacquelyn Campbell, Kelly Dunne, Suzanne Dubus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


One-third of women are victimized by intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime; when women are killed, they are often murdered by a previously abusive intimate partner. Risk-informed collaborative interventions, such as domestic violence high risk teams (DVHRTs), use IPV risk assessment to identify and intervene in high-risk IPV cases. This study reports on the development and testing of the Danger Assessment for Law Enforcement (DA-LE), an IPV risk assessment intended for use with DVHRTs. Data were collected through structured telephone interviews from service-seeking survivors of IPV at two time points approximately seven to eight months apart. One sample (n = 570) was used to develop the DA-LE and another (n = 389) was used to test the predictive validity of the instrument using the receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (AUC). The DA-LE predicted near fatal IPV on follow-up with similar or better accuracy than most validated IPV risk assessment instruments (AUC = 0.6864-0.7516). There were no significant differences in predictive validity based on survivor/offender race or ethnicity. The DALE has the potential to identify high-risk police-involved IPV cases. Risk-informed collaborative interventions may enhance outcomes for survivors of IPV by holding offenders accountable, increasing help seeking, and reducing future assaults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-156
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Work Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Domestic violence high risk teams
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk-informed collaborative interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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