Abstract: Differences in Lethal Risk of Intimate Partner Violence Assessed By Survivors and Professionals (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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Differences in Lethal Risk of Intimate Partner Violence Assessed By Survivors and Professionals

Friday, January 13, 2023
Hospitality 1 - Room 443, 4th Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Pei-Ling Wang, PhD, Professor, National Chi Nan University, Taiwan, Taiwan
Hsiu-Fen Lin, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Shih-Ying Cheng, PhD, Doctoral Student, Washington University in Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO
Yu-Ju Yen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Shih Chien University, Taiwan
Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a gendered crime across the globe. Even though IPV survivors and professionals assess the incident synchronically, they evaluate lethal risk differently. Little is known about what contributes to the differences in the perceptions of lethality. This study analyzed reports of IPV from Taiwan because Taiwan is the first Asian country to address risk assessment at the national level. Taiwan has a mandatory report statue that requires frontline professionals (police officers, nurses, social workers) to use the validated 15-item Taiwan Intimate Partner Violence Danger Assessment (TIPVDA) to score the lethal risk. The TIPVDA allows IPV survivors to self-assess their level of risk ranging from 0 to 15, and their TIPVDA score can be adjusted at the discretion of professionals. This study aims to investigate factors that are associated with difference between self and professional assessment and to provide a model for IPV risk assessment internationally.

Methods: This study analyzed administrative data from the Taiwan National Case Protective Dataset, a total of 18,740 IPV lethal-risk cases between Jan 1, 2017, and Dec 31, 2019. The sample size is unique because it represented the entire three-year lethal risk IPV population without sampling. This study compared the difference of the TIPVDA scores assessed by survivors and professionals. The total TIPVDA scores assessed by survivors and professionals were dichotomized into low-risk and lethal risk groups by the cut-off of 8. The difference was coded with three categories: Underestimated (low risk assessed by survivor, high risk assessed by professional), No Difference (high risk assessed by survivors and professional), and Overestimated (high risk assessed by survivor, low risk assessed by professional). We conducted descriptive, bivariate analysis, and multinomial logistic regression with STATA 16.

Results: Overall, the majority of lethal risk victims were female (93.4%), having a relationship with an opposite sex partner (98.5%), Taiwanese (80.5%) and middle-aged adults (64.5%). Results of multinomial logistic regression showed that being 65 years and older (RRR=.58, p<.05), having a homosexual partner (RRR=.69, p<.05), and being a female (RRR=.84, p<.05) were less likely to be in the Underestimated group (low risk assessed by survivor, high risk assessed by professional) versus No Difference group (high risk assessed by survivors and professional). Age and gender differences was nonsignificant when comparing the Overestimated group (high risk assessed by survivor, low risk assessed by professional) and the No Difference group.

Implications: This study is the first to examine differences in self-assessment and professional- assessment of lethal risk IPV. The findings suggested that male and adolescent (16-18 years) victims were more likely to underestimate their lethal risk in IPV. The findings have important implications for risk assessment of IPV, particularly the difference in survivor and professionals’ perceptions.