Skip Navigation
Explore Our Programs
Danger Assessment

The Danger Assessment helps to determine the level of danger an abused woman has of being killed by her intimate partner. It is free and available to the public. Using the Danger Assessment requires the weighted scoring and interpretation that is provided after completing the training. The Danger Assessment is available in a variety of languages.

Every year 3-4 million women in the U.S. are abused and 1,500-1,600 are killed by their abusers. The challenge for those who encounter abused women is to identify those with the highest level of danger. For 25 years, the Danger Assessment Instrument has been used by law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and domestic violence advocates. The training — offered in several forms — provides instructions on how to score and interpret the instrument.

  • Learn more about the Danger Assessment Instrument

    Download the Danger Assessment




    French Canadian

    If you would like to translate the Danger Assessment into another language or inquire as to the availability of a language not listed here, please contact us

    Download the Danger Assessment-Revised

    For use in abusive female same-sex relationships


    Download the Danger Assessment-Immigrant  (DA-I)

    For use with immigrant women.  

    For more information, to obtain a copy, and permission to use, please contact

    Download the Danger Assessment-5


  • Permission to use Danger Assessment

    Permission To Use Danger Assessment (PDF Version)


    Thank you for your interest in the Danger Assessment instrument. The challenge for those who encounter abused women is to identify those with the highest level of danger. The “Danger Assessment” instrument has been used by law enforcement, health care professionals, domestic violence advocates and researchers for 25 years.

    To use the Danger Assessment to its fullest extent, a scoring system, which has been updated and validated, is available to interpret the Danger Assessment results. The Danger Assessment is best used by a person certified to administer the assessment and interpret the scoring system. If you are interested in the Certification programs in various formats please contact us or visit

    There is no charge and no further permission needed for the use of this instrument as long as the reference is properly cited (see below).  However, it has a copyright to indicate that it may not be changed in any way without specific permission from me.  Please reference the following:
    Campbell, JC.  (2004).  Danger Assessment.  Retrieved May 28, 2008, from
    Campbell JC, Webster DW, Glass N.  (2009). The danger assessment: validation of a lethality risk assessment instrument for intimate partner femicide.  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(4):653-74.

  • Are you a woman currently experiencing domestic violence?





    Did you fill out the Danger Assessment for your own situation? You should know that 10 or more “yes” answers is concerning. Please get in touch with your local domestic violence shelter or call the national domestic violence hotline for more help in staying safe.

  • What are the benefits of certification?

    After successfully completing the post test, you will be certified in using the Danger Assessment. You will be able to download a certificate with your name on it, a scoring page that you can use to put in case files for documentation, and the scoring system worksheet, which includes the scoring system's danger levels personalized with your name on it. This documentation has been proven to be valuable for use in court proceedings.

    Please note that the certificate signature line is for the "Certified Assessor" to sign, i.e., once you have been certified, you now become the certified assessor that should sign the certificate. This is important in that an image of the certificate appears on the scoring system worksheet that should be printed and maintained on file each time you assess a woman's level of danger. The signaure line validates that the assessment was completed by the person named and that the person named has been trained in use of the DA and the DA scoring system.

    For information contact us.

  • References

    The Danger Assessment is a project in process. It is continually being checked for accuracy and usefulness. In light of that, we ask that you share the results of any research (raw or coded data) which is conducted using the instrument. The following information would be extremely valuable:

    • an approximate number of women with whom the instrument was used,
    • a description of their demographics,
    • their mean score, and
    • the setting in which the data was collected.

    Comments (positive and negative) and suggestions for improvement from battered women themselves, advocates, and professionals who are involved in its use are also being collected. Please send this information to the address below.

    I look forward to your feedback regarding the Danger Assessment.

    Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN 
    525 N. Wolfe Street
    Baltimore, MD 21205


    Block, C. R., Engel, B., Naureckas, S. M., & Riordan, K. A (1999). The Chicago women's health risk study: Lessons in collaboration. Violence Against Women, 5, 1158-1177.

    Browne, A. (1987). Battered women who kill. New York: Free Press.

    Browne, A. Williams, K., and Dutton, D (1998). Homicide between intimate partners. In: Homicide: A sourcebook of social research, edited by M.D.Smith and M.Zahn, Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage, p. 149-164.

    Campbell, J. (2007).  Assessing dangerousness: Violence by batterers and child abusers.  NY: Springer.

    Campbell, J.C. (1992). "If I can't have you, no one can": Power and control in homicide of female partners. In: Femicide: The politics of woman killing, edited by J. Radford and D. E. H. Russell, New York:Twayne, p. 99-113.

    Campbell, J. C. (1981). Misogyny and homicide of women. Advances in Nursing Science, 3, 67-85.

    Campbell, J. C. (1986). Nursing assessment for risk of homicide with battered women. Advances in Nursing Science, 8, 36-51.

    Campbell, D. W., Campbell, J. C., King, C., Parker, B., & Ryan, J. (1994). The reliability and factor structure of the index of spouse abuse with African-American battered women. Violence and Victims, 9, 259-274.

    Campbell, J.C., Sharps, P., and Glass, N. (2000). Risk Assessment for Intimate Partner Homicide. In: Clinical Assessment of Dangerousness: Empirical Contributions, edited by G. F. Pinard and L. Pagani, New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Campbell, J. C., Soeken, K., McFarlane, J., & Parker, B (1998). Risk factors for femicide among pregnant and nonpregnant battered women. In J.C.Campbell (Ed.), Empowering survivors of abuse: Health care for battered women and their children (pp. 90-97). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Campbell JC, Webster DW, Glass N.  (2009). The danger assessment: validation of a lethality risk assessment instrument for intimate partner femicide.  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(4):653-74.

    Campbell, J.C., Webster, D., Koziol-McLain, J., (2003). Assessing risk factors for intimate partner homicide. National Institute of Justice Journal (250):14-19. (Full Text:

    Campbell, J.C. Webster, D., Koziol-McLain, J. (2003). Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multi-Site Case Control Study. American Journal of Public Health, 93 (7):1089-1097.

    Diaz-Olavarrieta, C., Campbell, J. C., Garcia de la Cadena, C., Paz, F., & Villa, A. (1999). Domestic violence against patients with chronic neurologic disorders. Archives of Neurology, 56, 681-685.

    Fagan, J. A., Stewart, D. E., & Hansen, K. (1983). Violent men or violent husbands? Background factors and situational correlates. In R.J.Gelles, G. Hotaling, M. A. Straus, & D. Finkelhor (Eds.), The dark side of families (pp. 49¬68). Beverly Hills: Sage.

    Ferraro, K. J. & Johnson, J. M. (1983). How women experience battering: The process of victimization. Social Problems, 30, 325-339.

    Goodman, L., Dutton, M. and Bennett, M. (1999). Predicting repeat abuse among arrested batterers: Use of the danger assessment scale in the criminal justice system. J. Interpers. Violence, 15, 63-74.

    Heckert, D. A., & Gondolf, E. W. (2004). Battered women's perceptions of risk versus risk factors and instruments in predicting repeat reassault. J.Interpers. Violence 19 (7):778-800.

    Heckert, D. A., & Gondolf, E. W. (2001). Predicting levels of abuse and reassault among batterer program participants. Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology, Atlanta, GA.

    McFarlane, J., Campbell, J. C., Sharps, P., & Watson, K. (2002). Abuse during pregnancy and femicide: urgent implications for women's health. Obstet.Gynecol., 100, 27-36.

    McFarlane, J., Campbell, J. C., & Watson, K. (2002). Intimate Partner Stalking and Femicide: Urgent implications for women's safety. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 20, 51-68.

    McFarlane, J., Campbell, J. C., and Wilt, S., et al. (1999). Stalking and intimate partner femicide. Homicide Studies 3 (4):300-316.

    McFarlane, J., Parker, B., Soeken, K., & Bullock, L. (1992). Assessing for abuse during pregnancy: Severity and frequency of injuries and associated entry into prenatal care. JAMA, 267, 3176-3178.

    McFarlane, J., Parker, B., & Soeken, K. (1996). Abuse during pregnancy: Associations with maternal health and infant birth weight. Nursing Research, 45, 37-42.

    McFarlane, J, Soeken, K., Campbell, J.C, Parker, B., Reel, S., and Silva, C. (1998). Severity of abuse to pregnant women and associated gun access of the perpetrator. Public Health Nurs. 15 (3):201-206.

    McFarlane, J., Soeken, K., Reel, S., Parker, B., & Silva, C. (1997). Resource use by abused women following an intervention program: Associated severity of abuse and reports of abuse ending. Public Health Nursing, 14, 244-250. 

    Parker, B., McFarlane, J., & Soeken, K. (1994). Abuse during pregnancy: Effects on maternal complications and birth weight in adult and teenage women. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 84, 323-328.

    Roehl, J. & Guertin, K. (1998) Current use of dangerousness assessments I sentencing domestic violence offenders Pacific Grove, CA: State Justice Institute.

    Sharps, P. W., Koziol-McLain, J., and Campbell, J. C., et. al. (2001). Health Care Provider's Missed Opportunities for Preventing Femicide. Prev.Med., 33, 373-380.

    Silva, C. McFarlane, J., and Soeken, K, et. al. (1997). Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in abused women in a primary care setting. Journal of Women’s Health, 6, 543-552.

    Stuart, E.P. & Campbell, J.C. (1989). Assessment of patterns of dangerousness with battered women. Issues Mental Health Nursing, 10, 245-260.

    Weisz, A., Tolman, R., & Saunders, D. G. (2000). Assessing the risk of severe domestic violence: The importance of survivor's predictions. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15, 75-90.

    Williams, K. and Conniff, E. (2001). Legal Sanctions and the Violent Victimization of Women. Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology, Atlanta, GA.

In 2007 intimate partners committed 14% of all homicides in the U.S. The total estimated number of intimate partner homicide victims in 2007 was 2,340:  BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS

Females are killed by intimate partners at twice the rate of male:  BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS