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Danger Assessment Training and Technical Assistance Center for IPV Risk Assessment


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Every year 3-4 million women in the U.S. are abused and 1,500-1,600 are killed by their abusers. The challenge for those who encounter abused women is to identify those with the highest level of danger. With funding through the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), DA-TA Center provides training and technical assistance to law enforcement, healthcare professionals, domestic violence advocates and the community on IPV risk assessments. We also provide training and certification on the Danger Assessment, an evidence-based instrument that helps to determine the level of danger an abused woman has of being killed by her intimate partner.

DA-TA Center Mission

The heart of our mission is to translate research findings into evidence-based practices to support victim-survivor decisions and prevent intimate partner homicide.  This practice can aid agencies and community response systems to provide appropriate services to all victim-survivors, and to attend to the urgent needs of individuals who are the most vulnerable to homicide by an intimate partner.  This practice may also support justice systems in holding offenders accountable and setting conditions that promote community safety.


The Danger Assessment helps to determine the level of danger an abused woman has of being killed by her intimate partner.


To request training and technical assistance.


Collaborative and multi-disciplinary response: To create systemic change, all parts of a community’s intimate partner violence response system must have a shared language to communicate risk. We promote the full integration of intimate partner violence lethality risk assessment across systems in order to enhance coordination, collaboration, and communication.

We value reaching and serving marginalized communities and populations, who are disproportionately impacted by intimate partner violence and intimate partner homicide. We support the use of IPV risk assessments that do not embed systemic and racial or marginalized-community biases. Our assessments, training, and technical assistance is offered in a variety of languages and accessibility formats. We are dedicated to improving the accessibility of our own services, and support agencies and communities in accessible implementation of IPV response.

The Danger Assessment was developed through a blend of statistical analysis and skilled practitioner expertise. We equally value research evidence and the knowledge and skills of advocates and other professionals who bring their knowledge to the risk assessment process.

A woman’s experience of trauma impacts every area of her life including her physical, emotional, and social health and wellbeing. Ensuring the safety, health, and wellbeing of survivors requires an intersectional understanding of the realities in which victim-survivors live and the systems they operate in, with trauma at the forefront.

Those who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) – victims/survivors — are our priority, and they continuously influence our work. Evidence-based risk assessments develop pathways that support victim-survivors to make decisions about their relationships that promote safety for themselves and their families. Risk assessments and risk-informed interventions must never be prescriptive or tell victim-survivors what to do. Nor should they be used to exclude victim-survivors from services or discount their experiences, fears, needs, and desired outcomes. Our work centers survivor self-determination, and rests on a foundational belief that each victim-survivor knows their situation and relationship best.

What We Do

To achieve this mission, our team:

  • Offers guidance on identifying the most appropriate Domestic Violence/IPV risk assessment instrument for your agency or community need.

  • Advises communities in protocol development for IPV homicide prevention

  • Interprets emerging evidence into best practices for victim safety and offender accountability, through practitioner guides or direct consultation.

  • Offers in person, online, and webinar-based training and certification on the Danger Assessment and its derivatives.

  • Training is also available on the topics of: trauma-informed care in healthcare and IPV provider settings; judicial training on DV lethality; state of the science on IPV homicide; trauma and the brain – IPV-related traumatic brain injury, strangulation, and health consequences.

The Staff

Jacquelyn Campbell is a national leader in research and advocacy in the field of domestic violence or intimate partner violence (IPV). She has authored or co-authored more than 230 publications and seven books on violence and health outcomes. Her studies paved the way for a growing body of interdisciplinary investigations by researchers in the disciplines of nursing, medicine, and public health. Her expertise is frequently sought by national and international policy makers in exploring IPV and its health effects on families and communities. As a nurse educator and mentor, Dr. Campbell leads by example in inspiring new generations of nurse researchers. Her BSN, MSN, and PhD are from Duke University, Wright State University, and the University of Rochester. She teaches an undergraduate and MSN elective in Family Violence as well as in the PhD program and is the PI of an NIH-funded (T32) fellowship that provides funding for pre- and postdoctoral fellows in violence research. Elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2000, Dr. Campbell also was the Institute of Medicine/American Academy of Nursing/American Nurses’ Foundation Senior Scholar in Residence and was founding co-chair of the IOM Forum on the Prevention of Global Violence. Other honors include the Pathfinder Distinguished Researcher by the Friends of the National Institute of Health National Institute for Nursing Research, Outstanding Alumna and Distinguished Contributions to Nursing Science Awards, Duke University School of Nursing, the American Society of Criminology Vollmer Award, and being named one of the inaugural 17 Gilman Scholars at Johns Hopkins University. She is on the Board of Directors for Futures Without Violence, is an active member of the Johns Hopkins Women’s Health Research Group, and has served on the boards of the House of Ruth Battered Women’s Shelter and four other shelters. She was a member of the congressionally appointed U.S. Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence.

Richelle Bolyard

Andrea Nichole Cimino’s research focuses on marginalized and oppressed populations in the United States, including victims of intimate partner violence, low-income African-American women, and women and girls involved in the criminal justice system (prostitutes/trafficked victims, former felons). Dr. Cimino is best known for her research on the street prostitution exiting process where her major contribution to the field includes a clinical assessment that measures readiness to exit prostitution for adult women. At the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Dr. Cimino is co-investigator and program director of The ESSENCE Project, a mixed-methods study examining the impact of environmental and physiological factors on forced sex and HIV risk among African-American women living in Baltimore, MD (R01-HD077891).

Jill Theresa Messing, MSW, PhD

Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and the Director of the Office of Gender-Based Violence at Arizona State University

Jill Theresa Messing, MSW, PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and the Director of the Office of Gender-Based Violence at Arizona State University. She has published over 60 articles and book chapters and is the co-editor of the 3rd edition of Assessing Dangerousness: Domestic violence offenders and child abusers. Dr. Messing specializes in the development and testing of intimate partner violence risk assessments and is particularly interested in the use of risk assessment in collaborative and innovative interventions as a strategy for reducing intimate partner homicide. Dr. Messing and her colleagues developed myPlan (www.myplanapp.org), and she is a co-investigator on three NIH-funded randomized controlled trials examining the effectiveness of this web-based safety planning tool for women in abusive relationships.

Millan AbiNader

Macro Social Work Researcher

Millan AbiNader is a macro social work researcher who seeks to understand the structural factors and social ecology of gender-based violence, with particular attention to intimate partner homicide and rural communities. Dr. AbiNader holds a PhD from Boston University and MSSW from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to returning to academia, Dr. AbiNader worked in various capacities to prevent and intervene in sexual violence, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

Supported by Grant No. 2015-SI-AX-K005 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.