The County Legislature of Suffolk County has unanimously adopted a statute calling for risk assessment forms to help predict whether a domestic batterer will likely commit domestic violence again. The purpose of this statute is to aid victims who seek help from the police. This new statute will allow the police to make an assessment of the needs of individuals who dial 911.
Helping Domestic Violence Victims
Suffolk County Police will utilize a model which had previously been developed and used by the Police Department in Portland, Oregon to provide an enhanced scale to make reasonable assumptions concerning the risk of domestic violence offenders continuing to abuse their victims. It rates previous domestic violence offenders on a scale of 1 to 13. The higher the number on the scale the more likely this individual will commit future offenses. Before adopting the form, Suffolk County ran five years of domestic violence data through the questionnaires based on this form. They found the model assisted them in predicting recidivism among domestic violence offenders. Police in Suffolk County will utilize this score when responding to whether victims of domestic violence require further protection and help from Suffolk County. The victims of domestic violence will also be given the scores their abusers received to show them the level of danger they are facing in the future.
Elliot S. Schlissel is an attorney who represents individuals regarding domestic violence offenses.