Statement of purpose To identify, evaluate, and implement evidence-based and promising strategies to prevent severe and fatal intimate partner violence.
Methods/Approach The OK Injury Program partnered with OU College of Nursing, Arizona State University, and Johns Hopkins University on a National Institute of Justice grant to evaluate the lethality assessment protocol (LAP) in OK. Police conducted a brief 11-item lethality screen at the domestic violence (DV) scene to identify victims at high risk for homicide and attempted to connect them with DV services and safety planning. A quasi-experimental design was used to collect data from high-risk victims referred by police during comparison and intervention phases. Baseline and follow-up telephone interviews were conducted to assess victims’ violence exposure and protective actions.
Results The study was conducted from 2009–2013. Seven police and local collaborating DV services agencies were recruited to participate. A total of 689 (342 comparison and 347 intervention) high risk women completed a baseline interview at 4–7 days following the incident; 414 (212 comparison and 202 intervention) completed a follow-up interview approximately 6 months later. Nearly 90% of these women reported severe or near lethal violence. Upon follow-up, women in the intervention group reported less frequency and severity of violence and more protective actions than women in the comparison group.
Conclusions While results of the study are not generalizable, the LAP was found to be an effective police strategy to reduce intimate partner violence in OK. The data supports the LAP as a promising practice to decrease violent victimisation and increase protective actions among women who experience severe or near lethal violence.
Significance and contribution to the field In 2014, HB 2526 was passed by the OK legislature directing all Oklahoma police officers to ask the 11 questions from the LAP screen. Statewide training on the LAP is now coordinated by the OK Office of the Attorney General. An indirect result of the study, this legislation translates research to practice in the community.
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