Measuring intimate partner violence risk: A national survey of Canadian police officers

  • Michael D. Saxton Western University, London, ON and Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children, London, ON
  • Peter G. Jaffe Western University, London, ON and Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children, London, ON
  • Anne-Lee Straatman Western University, London, ON and Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children, London, ON
  • Laura Olszowy Western University, London, ON and Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children, London, ON
  • Myrna Dawson University of Guelph, Guelph, ON and Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, Guelph, ON
Keywords: risk assessment, risk appraisal tools, community policing

Abstract

This study examined the role of police in addressing intimate partner violence (IPV) and the type of strategies they apply across Canada based on a national survey of officers. The focus was on an examination of the types of structured tools Canadian police officers report using in their risk assessment strategies. The results suggest that Canadian police officers are reporting frequent engagement in risk assessments across jurisdictions. The survey findings indicate variability across provinces in the types of risk assessment tools police officers are using. Implications for future research include exploring specific provincial and territorial police risk assessment processes and the challenges in engaging in risk assessments.

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Author Biographies

Michael D. Saxton, Western University, London, ON and Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children, London, ON

Michael Saxton is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at Western University and a graduate research assistant with the Center for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. His research focus has been on the impact domestic violence has on victims and their families. More recently, his research has focused on the police response to domestic violence.

Peter G. Jaffe, Western University, London, ON and Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children, London, ON

Peter Jaffe is a psychologist and Professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University and the Academic Director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children. He is the Director Emeritus for the London Family Court Clinic, which is a children's mental health centre specializing in issues that bring children and families into the justice system in London, Ontario. He is the Co-Director of the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative for Vulnerable Populations. 

Anne-Lee Straatman, Western University, London, ON and Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children, London, ON

Anna-Lee Straatman is Project Manager at the Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children at Western University where she coordinates national research projects on domestic violence, domestic homicide and health promotion. She has extensive experience conducting interviews with survivors of sexual violence, and has worked with victim services agencies as a first responder and trauma educator.

Laura Olszowy, Western University, London, ON and Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children, London, ON

Laura Olszowy is a doctoral candidate at Western University’s School and Applied Child Psychology. Her research includes the impact of domestic violence, how systems respond to the issue and how professionals assess and manage risk in DV cases.

Myrna Dawson, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON and Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, Guelph, ON

Myrna Dawson is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice and Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence (CSSLRV), College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, University of Guelph. Her research focuses on trends/patterns in and social/legal responses to violence with emphasis on violence against women and femicide. Dawson established the CSSLRV in 2005 with funding from the Canadian Foundation of Innovation to support the establishment of a research centre focusing research activities on understanding and preventing violence. She is the Co-Director of the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative for Vulnerable Populations. 

Published
2020-09-29
How to Cite
Saxton, M. D., Jaffe, P. G., Straatman, A.-L., Olszowy, L., & Dawson, M. (2020). Measuring intimate partner violence risk: A national survey of Canadian police officers. Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being, 5(3), 103-109. https://doi.org/10.35502/jcswb.144
Section
Original Research