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Violence Risk Analysis


Although there is no tool that predicts lethality, there are risk factors that can be identified and assessed. Inquiring about the presence of these factors during the normal course of interviews with a client may help estimate how much a lawyer should be concerned with homicide/suicide. This checklist is adapted from a lethality checklist devised by counselor Michael Lindsey (1993).


Check all that apply:



___ Uses language that objectifies or degrades partner (for example, "bitch," "whore," "cunt," "slut," "golddigger")


___ Blames victim for perceived injuries to self.


___ Is unwilling to turn victim loose.


___ Is obsessed with victim.


___ Is hostile/angry/furious.


___ Appears distraught.


___ Relationship is extremely tense, volatile.


___ Is extremely jealous, blaming victim for all types of promiscuous behavior.


___ Has perpetrated previous incidents of violence.


___ Has killed or injured pets.


___ Has made threats of harm to others.


___ Has made previous suicide attempts.


___ Is threatening suicide.


___ Has access to victim.


___ Has access to guns or other weapons.


___ Abuses alcohol.


___ Uses amphetamines (speed), cocaine, crack, or other drugs.


___ Has thoughts/desire of hurting partner.


___ Has no desire to stop violence/control behavior.



CAUTION: The absence of most of the above does not mean the perpetrator is harmless. Re-evaluate your client periodically. Any increase in the number of items checked indicates an increase in the danger.  If the batterer perceives the relationship is at risk of ending, the potential of danger increases drastically.