Assessing for Risk

Lethality Assessment Project (LAP)

DC SAFE gives top priority to victims who are at high risk for serious assault or homicide at the hands of their abusers.   Every domestic violence case is different, but research conducted by Dr. Jacqueline Campbell at Johns Hopkins University indicates that some situations are more dangerous than others based on identifiable factors.  DC SAFE conducts a risk assessment based on this research with every client that we work with, and specialized services are available for those who are identified as being at high risk for serious injury or homicide. Agencies like the Metropolitan Police Department have partnered with us to provide enhanced services for survivors of domestic violence who have a higher risk.

Using established partnerships with the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Human Services, Child and Family Services Agency, and the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), victims receive a case plan and enhanced services within 24 hours of notification to the Response Line.  This may lead to relocation into safe housing, enhanced counseling services for the victim and her children, and better communication of ongoing violations of probation and parole by the offender in order to decrease the abuser’s access to the victim.

DC SAFE advocates and volunteers also ride along with MPD officers in areas where domestic violence is the most prevalent to offer services directly at the scene of the crime.

Our current partners in this project are:

Metropolitan Police DepartmentDC Department of Mental HealthDC Department of Human ServicesDC’s Child and Family Services AgencyCourt Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA)The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of ColumbiaDC Superior Court, and Washington Hospital Center Emergency Department (To learn more about screening for domestic violence in Emergency Departments click here.)


To learn more about SAFE Space, emergency housing for survivors who are in high risk situations, click here.