Creator of The Danger Assessment presents at Oakland University

Creator of The Danger Assessment presents at Oakland University
World-renowned nurse scholar and developer of The Danger Assessment, Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, spoke to more than 100 Oakland University students in late January.

The statistics are staggering. Women are more often killed by intimate partners such as husbands, ex-husbands, lovers or ex-lovers than any other category of killer. 

In fact, intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death in African-American women 15 to 45 and is the 7th leading cause of all premature death in the United States.

World-renowned nurse scholar and developer of The Danger Assessment, Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, recently spoke to more than 100 Oakland University students and community partners to educate them on how to use this vital tool in hopes of preventing such homicides.

For health professionals, such as nurses, police officers, or social workers, being able to assess women at risk allows them the opportunity to provide education and protection options for women who are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV).

Dr. Campbell has dedicated her research and practice to evaluating and caring for patients and victims of IPV, ultimately developing The Danger Assessment as an instrument to help identify those at risk of femicide. The Danger Assessment is a 20 question survey that was developed in 1985, revised in 1988 after validity and reliability studies were conducted, and has been used ever since. The Danger Assessment can be printed from son.jhmi.edu/research/CNR/homicide/DANGER.htm.

Dr. Campbell, along with other researchers, have found that this tool has reliability to identify women who may be at risk of femicide by an intimate partner. The study also found that nearly half of women who were murdered by an intimate partner were not aware of their level of risk. For example, women whose partners threatened them with harm from a gun were 20 times more likely to be killed than other women. Further, simply having a gun in the home makes it six times more likely that an abused woman will be killed compared with other abused women in homes without a firearm. Other risks of femicide include daily alcohol use by the perpetrator and jealous partners who attempt to strangle or force sex upon the woman. 

Kelly Berishaj, DNP, RN, director of the Oakland University School of Nursing's Forensic Nursing program, said, “This type of assessment is crucial in not only identifying victims of IPV in our female population, but in providing resources to these women to reduce the likelihood of lethality as a result of the relationship.”

Forensic nurses are part of a multidisciplinary team that includes members of healthcare, law enforcement, and the legal and social systems. As a result, Dr. Campbell’s training and instruction on administration of the Danger Assessment is critical across disciplines to improve health and legal outcomes in women who are victims of IPV.

For more information on Oakland University's Forensic Nursing program, contact Kelly Berishaj at berishaj@oakland.edu or (248) 364-8750.

group of nurses who attended the lecture