When I was a police officer, I found an effective tool to combat domestic violence. The threat assessment is used by virtually every governmental entity from The U.S. Marshals to court justices. It was made by Gavin De Becker, security expert and author of The Gift of Fear. De Becker, who says that violent crimes against women are often predictable, preventable, and committed by someone the victim knows, has developed a new threat assessment tool called MOSAIC. MOSAIC 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.
The danger assessment is a free, online assessment that, according to the website, works by “breaking a situation down factor-by-factor, like pieces of a puzzle, and then seeing what picture emerges when you put them together. MOSAIC helps the assessor weigh the present situation in light of expert opinion and research, and instantly compare the present situation to past cases where the outcomes are known.”
There are several types of situations that MOSAIC can assess: Domestic Violence (by a male or female), Workplace Violence, Threat by a Student, Threats to Public Figures, or Threats to Judicial Figures. The Domestic Violence assessment is the only one that is available to the general public; the other assessments have restricted access.
MOSAIC’s Domestic Violence assessment is easy to use. You simply log onto the site and answer 48 questions, which takes about 30 minutes. Based on the answers, MOSAIC assesses the likelihood that violence will escalate and rates that threat on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the greatest potential for violence. The site is highly secure, with many prompts that suggest ways to keep your information safe and private.
If you or someone you know is in any kind of abusive situation, I highly recommend using this tool to assess the potential for violence. Too many people fall victim to relationship violence because they deny or don’t understand the potential for serious harm. MOSAIC can help paint the bigger picture, and that may provide the wake-up call that saves your life or the life of someone you love.
If you or a loved one need help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (www.ndvh.org) on the web or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).