​The Domestic Violence Safety Action Tool (DVSAT): results from the first 12 months of implementation

Family violence Evaluation Australia New South Wales
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Aim: To report on the first 12 months of implementation of the DVSAT.

Method: All referrals in the Central Referral Point (CRP) database were linked to NSW police data to obtain responses to individual items contained in the DVSAT. Descriptive analysis of the DVSAT data was collated including the proportion of ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘refused’ or ‘unknown’ responses for each question, and the total number of ‘yes’ responses for both intimate and non-intimate violence.

Results: In the first 12 months of the operation of the It Stops Here: Safer Pathway Program, the DVSAT was administered to a total of 102,605 victims of domestic violence. One in five reported victims of intimate partner violence and one in 10 reported victims of non-intimate partner violence were classified as ‘at serious threat’. Threat level was strongly related to scores on the DVSAT but there was also evidence that referrer risk ratings were determined by other factors. Regardless of the DVSAT results, alleged victims were initially classified as ‘at serious threat’ if they had reportedly experienced three or more prior domestic violence incidents. This arrangement was found to create a high level of service demand and has since been dropped.

Conclusion: Research should be undertaken to assess the extent to which the DVSAT tool can accurately predict risk of further victimisation.

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