The Lethality Assessment Protocol or LAP, is a major tool used by both local law enforcement and CAPSA personnel. So, what is the LAP?
Originating from Maryland, Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, of The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, studied the factors associated with domestic homicide within the state. She studied these cases for more than 25 years, and from her study, she found 20 warning signs indicating an individual was at high risk of being killed by an intimate partner.
Inspired by this research, the State of Maryland worked with Dr. Campbell to create an 11 question assessment to be used by law enforcement. Now when a domestic violence call comes in, officers ask the victim of abuse these 11 questions. Depending on the answers, victims are determined whether or not they are at high risk of being murdered by their intimate partner. If at high risk, law enforcement personnel connect the individual to a local domestic violence shelter.
In the seven years since implementing the LAP in Maryland, domestic homicides have reduced by 60%. Since implementing this system in Utah, more than 1,500 individuals have been identified as being in a high-risk situation. Because of the LAP, these 1,500 individuals are receiving the help they are in need of. Before the LAP, only 4% of these at risk individuals visited a domestic violence shelter or sought any type of aid in preventing or dealing with their abusive situation.
We’re grateful for our law-makers and officers for making the LAP a life-saving part of our response to domestic violence within the state.
Learn more about CAPSA and the LAP at the links below: