Risk assessment

A risk assessment has four stages:

  • Risk identification
  • Risk assessment
  • Professional judgment
  • Risk management

It should be a dynamic process that will adjust the risk assessment of harm up or down as circumstances change.

What is the DASH (Domestic Abuse, Stalking, Harassment and Honour based violence Assessment Tool)?

The DASH risk assessment tool has been developed by ACPO, Laura Richards, in conjunction with CAADA (Coordinated Action against Domestic Abuse) to create a common tool for both police and non-police agencies when identifying and assessing victims of domestic abuse, stalking and harassment and honour based violence.  It builds on good practice from other risk tools and has been tested in a number of forces. In Norfolk, we use a 24 question DASH - view Norfolk DASH. If you need to refer this into MARAC you will also need to complete a MARAC Referral.

Safe Lives have adapted the DASH risk assessment for young people and you can access this here although you will still need to submit the referral electronically using the above DASH risk assessment form.


SafeLives guidance

Do you have the time and confidence to complete the DASH form safely with the client?  The questions are used to identify, assess and manage risk, so ask all the questions and all responses must be recorded, reviewed and updated.  The risk identification process remains dynamic and you have responsibility for the risk until it can be handed over.

Other relevant information (from victim and risk assessor) which may alter risk

Risk levels

Standard - Current evidence does not indicate likelihood of serious harm

Medium - There are identifiable indicators of risk of serious harm.  The perpetrator has the potential to cause serious harm but is unlikely to do so unless there is a change in circumstances e.g. relationship breakdown, failure to take medication, drug/alcohol misuse

High - There are identifiable indicators of risk of serious harm.  The potential event could happen at any time and the impact would be serious

Number of indicators identified

1-9 Standard risk

10-13 Medium risk

14 and above High risk

These are suggested risk levels only – other factors may increase risk level, but will not reduce it.  Consider the number and frequency of high risk factors and any escalation. Please also consider this severity of abuse grid created by SafeLives and whether clients meet the high risk factors within the right column on the second table.

See also stalking risk assessment and stalking guidance.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

High risk cases (14+) automatically get referred to MARAC.

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