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Risk Factors in Domestic Violence

Oct 29th, 2015

Today the Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed a Family Court issuance of a Domestic Violence Order based upon the accused's behavior falling under 9 of 12 "lethality factors."  What are those lethality factors?


The Batterer's history/behavior:
  • Police involvement for domestic violence within the year
  • An increase in the frequency or severity of violence
  • Stalking
  • The abuser threatens of homicide or suicide
  • The abuser speaks of fantasies of suicide or homicide
  • The abuser has used weapons in prior incidents
  • The abuser has caused life-threatening injuries in prior incidents
  • The abuser threatens to use weapons on victim
  • The abuser threatens to or actually harming or killing pets
  • The abuser raping the victim
  • The abuser harming the victim during pregnancy
  • The abuser abused as a child
  • The abuser destroys property (especially that of the victim)
  • The abuser abuses drugs or Alcohol
  • The abuser obsesses over the victim ("If I can't have you no one will.")
  • Depression or other mental illness
  • The abuser witnessed domestic violence between the abuser's parents
  • The abuser recently purchased a weapon
The Victim's behavior as it relates to the abuser:
  • Victim initiates an unwanted separation or divorce
  • Victim initiates a change in custody arrangements
  • Victime threatens suicide
  • Victim enters a new relationship


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