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The VA is offering free training on a JHU-developed intimate partner violence risk assessment

Training on the Danger Assessment, developed by Johns Hopkins nursing professor Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, was made available through a licensing agreement.

Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore. (Photo courtesy of OLIN)

An assessment that helps to determine the risk of an abused person being seriously injured or killed by their intimate partner was created by Johns Hopkins School of Nursing professor Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell. And through a licensing agreement, the Danger Assessment will be offered to all clinical staff of the Veterans Administration (VA) for free, the university said.

Dr. Campbell conducted a training for the assessment at Baltimore’s VA facilities in November, reaching 800 people in-person and on livestream. The training and is now available on the VA’s internal training system, where staff will be able to access it.

“The VA recognizes the Danger Assessment as the gold standard of lethality assessments,” said Dr. LeAnn Bruce, national program manager of the VA’s Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP), in a statement. “This training partnership will result in the development of a cadre of clinicians throughout all VA medical centers who are extensively trained to effectively support the mission to provide ongoing education and have the means to identify those who are at risk so safety planning and intervention can be provided.”

Initially developed in 1986, the assessment has two parts.

One is a calendar on which those who are abused are asked to mark the approximate date when abuse occurs. This helps to assess the severity and frequency of battering over a year. In another part, respondents provide yes or no responses and a weighted system scores risk factors associated with intimate partner homicide, such as past death threats, a partner’s employment status, and partner’s access to a gun.

The Danger Assessment is available to the public for free, but training and a certification is required to access the weighted scoring instructions.

The partnership arose after the VA launched IPVAP in 2014, and implemented routine screening for such violence. Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures handled the licensing agreement, which is between JHU’s nursing school and the VA. In 2018, the VA expanded the IVAP nationally with $17 million in funding.

Companies: Johns Hopkins University

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