Background & Goal
Domestic violence is a major cause of mortality for women in the United States. According to the CDC, homicide is the second leading cause of death for young African American Women, the third leading cause of death for American Indian/Native Alaskan women aged 15-34, and the fifth leading cause of death for white women aged 30-34. When women are murdered, they are most often (40-54%) killed by a husband, boyfriend or ex-husband or partner. In 70% of the cases when women have been killed, there has been prior physical domestic violence. For every one woman killed by her partner or ex-partner, approximately 8-9 are nearly killed by their partner or ex-partner with serious long term health problems resulting. Campbell’s national intimate partner femicide study found that 40-47% of women who were killed were in the health care system (emergency department, primary care, prenatal care, mental health) in the year before they were killed. The goal of the Danger Assessment: An Instrument to Help Abused Women Assess Their Risk of Homicide (Danger Assessment or DA) is to assist abused women, domestic violence advocates, justice system domestic violence experts, and domestic violence policy experts to more accurately assess the risk of homicide from an abuser and obtain appropriate health care and other domestic violence safety planning interventions.
Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN created the Danger Assessment in 1985. Prior to the DA’s creation, there were several non-evidence based, non-validated lists of warning signs of potential lethality in domestic violence situations. The wording of the Danger Assessment is based on research and was developed in collaboration with abused women.