Lessons Learnt From Tragedies Risk Assessment as a Step by lzv41816


									Lessons Learnt From Tragedies:
  Risk Assessment as a Step to
Preventing Domestic Homicides

                   Peter G. Jaffe, Ph.D., C.Psych.
                    Professor, University of Western Ontario
 Academic Director, Centre for Research on Violence Against Women & Children

             London CAS Conference: London Convention Centre
                           November 2, 2006
               Purpose of DVDRC
           Office of the Chief Coroner
     “We speak for the dead to protect the living”
   Interdisciplinary review all intimate partner homicides
    (no outstanding court proceedings)
   Identify systemic issues, gaps and shortcomings
   Identify trends, risk factors and patterns
   Increase understanding and awareness
   Promote harm reduction & prevention
    Are DV Homicides Predictable &

   22 out of 34 cases (65%) had at least 7 risk markers
   Critical information held by family, work
    colleagues, front-line professionals
   Children are the victims in a number of ways
   Critical need to collaborate between child
    protection and VAW services as well as criminal
    and family court
                 Assessing Lethality
   Separation is the most dangerous period for abused
   Threats of homicide or suicide
   Fantasies of homicide or suicide
   Depression
   Access to weapons
   Obsessiveness about partner or family
   Centrality of battered partner to batterers’ view of life
   Drug or alcohol consumption
   Escalation of violent behaviour
   Hostage – taking                   (Hart, 1990)
Danger Assessment Risk Factors
   Partner used or threatened with a weapon (20.2)
   Partner threatened to kill woman (14.9)
   Partner tried to choke/strangle woman (9.9)
   Partner violently and constantly jealous (9.2)
   Woman forced to have sex when not wanted(7.6)
   Gun in the house (6.1)
   Partner controls most/all of woman’s activities(5.1)
   Drunk every day (or almost) or illicit drugs (4.1)
                                   Campbell (2003)
Limits and Benefits of Risk Assessment
         Limitations                      Benefits

   Retrospective rather          Development of common
    than prospective studies       language across systems
   Propensity towards            Assists in the prioritization
    “false positives”              of limited resources
   Risk is dynamic rather        Assists with safety planning
    than static                    strategies - may saves lives
 Can a perpetrator of
domestic violence be a
    good parent?
    National Council of Juvenile and
         Family Court Judges:
                 A Model State Code

In every proceeding where there is at issue a dispute as to
the custody of a child, a determination by a court that
domestic violence or family violence has occurred raises a
rebuttable presumption that it is detrimental to the child
and not in the best interest of the child to be placed in sole
custody, joint legal custody, or joint physical custody with
the perpetrator of family violence (Sec. 401)
    Common Stages of Responses to DV in
    Child Custody and Visitation Disputes

 It didn’t happen
 It happened but it wasn’t that bad

 It happened and it was bad, but is it relevant?

 It happened, it was bad, it is relevant; but get on
  with your life
Why is Domestic Violence Relevant
       in Custody Disputes?
   Abuse Does Not End With Separation
   Overlap Between Child Abuse and Domestic Violence
   Children’s Exposure to an Inappropriate Role Model
   Undermining of Non-Abusive Parent
   New Relationships Potentially Violent
   Perpetual Litigation as Form of On-Going Control
   Extreme Cases - Homicides and Abductions
                                 Jaffe, P.G. Lemon, N. & Poisson, S.E. (2002) Child
                                 Custody Disputes and Domestic Violence: Clinical and
                                 Legal Issues. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA
    Critical Issues in Coordination
   Access to services (barriers)
   Sequencing of services (court vs community)
   Interagency cooperation, communication, formal
   Responsibility for determination of:
    •   Level of need/services (assessment)
    •   Monitoring safety & progress
    •   Accountability for service providers
   Overall community coordination of services
  Parenting Arrangements after Violence

  Common Couple
   Aggression / No

 child maltreatment
                                                                    Parallel Parenting

                       Evaluated Risk to Children or Caregiver 
   High Conflict

Nature, Frequency                                                   Exchange
  & Severity of
 Family Violence

   Abuse (Child or
   Adult Partner)             High

      Battering                                                     No Visitation
Parenting Arrangements after Violence

    Accessible,                                                    Co-parenting
 interventions for

 perpetrators, and

                      Evaluated Risk to Children or Caregiver 
                                                                   Parallel Parenting
  child witnesses

    Resources                                                      Exchange


    Services not
    accessible or

 Systemic barriers                                                 No Visitation
   (e.g., poverty,
Parenting Arrangements after Violence

   Longer term
     planning;                                                      Co-parenting

  information to
 evaluate safety of
   children and

                       Evaluated Risk to Children or Caregiver 
                                                                    Parallel Parenting

     Timing of                                                      Supervised
 Disclosure / Stage                                                 Exchange
  of Proceedings

 Interim Hearings;
  Family in crisis;
   Red Flags for
     Lethality;               High
 Continue Exposure                                                  No Visitation
     to Violence
                      Parenting Arrangements after Violence

                          Accessible,        Longer term
  Common Couple                                planning;                                                        Co-parenting
   Aggression / No     interventions for       Adequate

 child maltreatment         victims,        information to
                       perpetrators, and   evaluate safety of
   High Conflict                             children and                                                       Parallel Parenting

                                                                   Evaluated Risk to Children or Caregiver 
                        child witnesses

Nature, Frequency                              Timing of                                                        Supervised
                          Resources        Disclosure / Stage
  & Severity of                                                                                                 Exchange
                          Available         of Proceedings
 Family Violence

   Abuse (Child or        Services not       Interim Hearings;
   Adult Partner)         accessible or       Family in crisis;
                         inappropriate         Red Flags for

                       Systemic barriers     Continue Exposure                                                  No Visitation
     Terrorism/          (e.g., poverty,         to Violence
      Stalking             language)
The Gap between Theory & Practice
   Training
   Standards
    Expectations
   Legislation
   Resources
   Genuine Collaboration (Common Risk Assessment)
   Community & Case Leadership
    One Family – One Judge?

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