Empirically Examining the Risk of Intimate Partner Violence: The Revised Domestic Violence Screening Instrument (DVSI-R)

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SYNOPSISObjective.This study extends recent research on assessing the risk of intimate partner violence by determining the concurrent and predictive validity of a revised version of the Domestic Violence Screening Instrument (DVSI-R) and whether evidence of such validity is sustained independent of perpetrator demographic characteristics and forms of intimate violence. The analyses highlight violent incidents involving multiple victims as an indicator of “severe” violence. Previous research did not address these issues.Methods.Data were analyzed on 14,970 assessments conducted in the State of Connecticut from September 1, 2004 through May 2, 2005. Hierarchical regression and receiver operating characteristic analyses were used to address the objectives of this research.Results.The empirical findings support the concurrent and predictive validity of the DVSI-R and show that it is robust in its applicability. The findings further show that incidents involving multiple victims are highly associated with DVSI-R risk scores and recidivistic violence.Conclusion.Validating and demonstrating the robustness of a risk assessment instrument is only a first step in preventing violence involving intimate partners or others in family or family-like relationships. The challenge is to train professionals responsible for addressing the problem of such violence to link valid risk assessments to well-crafted strategies of supervision and treatment so that the victimized or other potential victims are protected and perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

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