Protecting Victims of Intimate Partner Violence: Arizona’s Emerging Risk Assessment Model

The diligent patrol officer reported the episode thoughtfully. He had administered the pilot risk assessment carefully, using the new departmental protocol; his training; and his talent for listening, observing, and perceiving potential danger. He reported that the alleged female victim of intimate partner violence (IPV) answered all seven of the “key” risk questions negatively. According to her, the alleged offender had never tried to kill her, strangle or choke her, beat her when she was pregnant, use a weapon or object to threaten or hurt her, increase the frequency or severity of his physical violence, or exhibit violent and constant jealousy, and she did not consider him capable of killing her. So, what, then? No problem? Just another slap or shove during a Friday night argument steeped in booze? Or an episode of disorderly conduct that prompted the neighbors to call the police?