Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

When barking dogs do bite

In this project, we seek to assess, map and understand the risk factors associated with fatal domestic violence.

Marieke Liem

Even though domestic violence typically takes place behind closed doors, it affects society at large, as levels of victimization cut across age, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

Domestic violence risk factors have been studied for years and these studies have shown that there are certain factors that indicate a higher likelihood of becoming a victim of this type of violence. These risk factors also constitute the foundation of several risk assessment tools. These tools help front-line practitioners to effectively examine a domestic violence situation and to make an evidence-based judgement call.

In the Netherlands, so far, there is a lack of such a risk assessment tool for one of the most important front-line practitioners: the police. When responding to a domestic violence situation, police officers oftentimes find themselves having to make a quick - sometimes lifesaving - decision on how to respond appropriately. A tool that can help them distinguish violence with a potentially lethal outcome from non-lethal violence can assist in this decision-making process.

In this one-year study, we will focus on creating a such a risk assessment tool for the police, making use of data stemming from the Dutch Homicide Monitor.

Connection with other research

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