Working to Prevent Domestic Violence Homicides
The Lethality Assessment Program—Maryland Model (LAP) is an innovative, multi-pronged strategy to prevent domestic violence homicides. Law enforcement officers and other community professionals trained in the LAP use an evidence-based lethality assessment instrument based on the pioneering research of Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell to identify victims of intimate partner violence who are in highest danger of being killed by their intimate partners. Once a High-Danger victim has been identified, the first responder immediately connects the victim via a hotline call to the local domestic violence service program (DVSP) for emergency safety planning and enhanced service provision.
The Lethality Assessment Program is an evidence-based intimate partner homicide prevention model to be honored as a “promising practice” by the U.S. Department of Justice, and has been studied and validated.
To provide an evidence-based standard of practice to reduce intimate partner homicide, increase victim safety, and enhance collaboration in every community.
The purpose of the LAP is to save lives by connecting victims to life-saving, community-based services; hold abusers accountable; and create awareness of lethality factors with victims and communities.
- We are grounded in the application of innovative, evidence-based standards and best practices.
- We embrace and promote an empowerment lens to keep the victim’s right to safety, self-determination, and dignity at the forefront of our endeavors.
- We respond to and partner with our constituents and stakeholders in an individualized, efficient, and professional manner.
- We remain open to outside research and critique in order to provide the best model, training, and service-delivery for all types of agencies and victims.
- We use a strengths-based approach when working with LAP participants and creating customized training and technical assistance plans to set participants up for success.
How It Works
LAP Helps First Responders Assess the Situation
The LAP is a multi-pronged intervention that consists of a standardized, evidence-based lethality assessment instrument and accompanying referral protocol that helps first responders make a differentiated response that is tailored to the unique circumstances of High-Danger victims.
- Respond & Access: The process begins when an officer arrives at the scene of a call for service. Once the scene is secure and the investigation of the incident is complete, an officer may activate the LAP and asks the victim the 11 questions on the Lethality Screen.
- Connect the Survivor with Resources: Once a High-Danger victim has been identified, the first responder immediately connects the victim via a hotline call to the local domestic violence service program (DVSP) for emergency safety planning and enhanced service provision.
To date, LAP has been implemented in numerous jurisdictions across the United States.